For most of the people we help, their first introduction to our services takes place in our Domestic Violence Education class. Here, facilitators discuss both our services and the fundamentals of domestic abuse, such as power and control and the signs of abuse.
The people who attend our classes all heal in their own way. Some want to tell their story. Others are more content to listen. They all benefit from this community of others who understand the unique challenges presented by domestic abuse.
At the end of our most recent four-week Domestic Violence Education class, participants were willing to tell us how they had been helped.
“Through this class I realized I have been abused on so many levels,” one woman said. “How could I have let this happen to myself? I’m better than that. I have a son and this class gave me the information I need to help my son.”
One participant talked about the daily battle for independence, how she had been cut off from all finances and forced to represent herself in court.
Another told us: “I have always considered myself an educated woman and have a Master’s Degree. I am now becoming the woman I thought I could be by standing up for myself. This work has helped me to get my inner spirit back to who I know I can be.”
Following the four weeks, some of the class members will move on to use other services: shelter where they can heal and plan their future, counseling for their emotional well-being, Orders of Protection assistance at the courthouse and case management — to connect them with our community partners for housing, affordable child care, food pantries and the like.
Although they know the road ahead may not be an easy one, with the help of Family Shelter Service, class participants were firm in their resolve to break the cycle of abuse.
“I’m so grateful for these four weeks, one woman said. “I’ve had to overcome condemnation, shame and grief. This has empowered me and I am so appreciative for the opportunity to be here.”