Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear.
Your abuser may still be able to see what Web sites you have visited and
e-mails you have sent even if you delete your browser history and files.
If you are afraid your computer usage might be monitored, please use
a safer computer to view this Web site. If you need to quickly leave this
Web site, click the "Escape" button at any time and
you will be redirected to Google.com.
Please note this site is not monitored for requests for help.
If you need assistance, you must call the 24-hour hotline.
Stories of Hope
Tracey, a woman in her early 30s, came to Hope Alliance after her husband of several years chased her down the street with a butcher knife threatening to murder her. This was not the first time he had threatened to kill her, nor was it the first time he had left her bloody and beaten with bruises and a mess of broken dishes and furniture to clean up. Tracey, a proud and adventurous woman, had come to the United States by herself many years earlier and had no family in the area. The friends she had made were driven off by her husband's constant accusations of adultery and controlling behavior. She was not allowed to visit with or call friends.
Tracey came to the shelter with her 3-year-old daughter and four months pregnant with her second child. She accessed the resources that were made available to her, utilizing her case manager and the legal advocate to access the judicial system and get an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) that would allow her and her children to safely return to their home. Tracey attended a support group and chose to continue receiving individual counseling at Hope Alliance once she left the shelter. She reached out for the support she and her children needed and took the action necessary to change their lives. Tracey sought and received a two-year protective order while filing for divorce.
Tracey's goals were, and are, to end the cycle of violence in her family and better her life and the lives of her children. After leaving the shelter, she received her Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and today works as a bilingual fifth grade teacher. She continues to access Hope Alliance's services when needed, checking in with her counselor and having her daughter receive play therapy to learn healthy ways to express anger and sadness. When she came to Hope Alliance, Tracey said she did not know what abuse was, and she did not realize that what was happening to her was not okay. Tracey has rediscovered her inner voice, is listening to it with more confidence, knows what abuse is, and is modeling for her children an amazing example of what it means to survive and thrive.
After an evening at a concert with her friends, Kendra started feeling sick. One of the guys she was with, Derrick, offered to take her home since she wasn't feeling well. Even though she didn't know Derrick that well, Kendra's parents said it was OK for him to bring her home.
When they pulled into the driveway, Derrick walked Kendra to the door and insisted on going in with her. She was feeling progressively worse and told Derrick that since she was sick, she didn't want him to come in with her. Derrick ignored Kendra's words and began pushing his way into her home. He let her know that he wanted to have sex with her. She did not want to have sex, but he wasn't listening to her and tried to convince her it was what she wanted. She repeatedly told him "no," but Derrick proceeded to rape her.
Derrick left soon after assaulting Kendra. She was left alone with her shame and fear. She didn't want to tell anyone about what had happened, especially her parents. A few weeks later, however, she discovered that she was pregnant. She didn't know what to do, and decided she had to tell her parents. After that, she told the police and then Hope Alliance.
Kendra received support from Hope Alliance that empowered her to make the best decisions going forward. she made up her mind to have the baby, but to find an adoptive family to care for it once it was born. With Hope Alliance at her side, Kendra worked with a local adoption agency to find a home for her baby. She also found strength to work through her own pain.
Kendra has been able to keep in touch with her baby and the adoptive parents. She is taking steps toward her personal and professional development and has completed a dental assistant training program. She is dong well and has acquired new assertiveness skills that have changed the way others respond to her. She continues to live her life independently and is no longer afraid to speak out.
Julia arrived at Hope Alliance's shelter with the clothes on her back, $2 in her pocket and a car that was on empty. She had spent the last nine years living with a husband who was verbally, mentally, emotionally and financially abusive. In the seven days prior to her arrival at the shelter, Julia had been locked in a small closet without food, water or bathroom facilities as "punishment" for trying to leave her abusive husband.
When she made the difficult choice to reach out for help, Julia discovered that sometimes making the decision to leave is the easy part. Because of a shortage of resources, including available bed space, Julia called several shelters before finding safety at Hope Alliance just as a family was leaving the shelter.
Despite having come to Hope Alliance with only the will to survive, Julia was able to thrive as she rebuilt her life. She spent two months as a shelter resident, during which time she was linked to resources that offered financial assistance, temporary housing and continuing education. Individual counseling helped Julia begin to heal from years of abuse and rebuild her confidence and independence.
Two years later, Julia had graduated from the Hope Alliance housing program and enrolled in community college. She has been empowered to be a part of the healing process for others as a volunteer for several agencies where she had formerly received assistance herself.
Courtney fell in love hard and fast. Within a few months of dating, the couple had moved in together and later had a child. In the eyes of those outside their home, Courtney and her family seemed happy and stable. They were financially secure, active in church, and dedicated to their marriage. Neither Courtney nor outside observers could know that several years later Courtney would be found on the sidewalk outside her home with a concussion, broken eye socket and several bruised ribs. These injuries were only a few of the many caused by her abusive husband.
With the help of a shelter, Courtney was able to find safety for herself and her children while she worked on creating a new violence-free life for her family. Before coming to the crisis center, however, Courtney had experience the vicious cycle of domestic violence for three years. Although her husband wasn't physically abusive in the beginning of their relationship, he changed. Screaming, holes in the walls and rage at outside problems quickly turned into slaps and increasingly violent beatings. All of these acts were followed by apologies, promises to change, and eventually Courtney's forgiveness. Despite multiple attempts to leave, he would find her, and she would take him back. The last time she left was when her abuser brought a gun to her house. She knew then she had to leave for good.
Courtney says that in addition to offering her temporary shelter, the crisis center gave her a "lifetime of options." She had access to resources that helped her find an apartment, a job, daycare and legal assistance. Counseling offered by the center also motivated her to finally end the cycle of violence she and her family had experienced and helped her leave feeling prepared to start a new life. Courtney's strong religious beliefs have also led her to start a music ministry with her new husband that helps raise awareness about domestic violence through music and art. Courtney understands that many women stay in abusive relationships because they have no place else to go, but says her faith in God and assistance from the crisis center helped her to become a healthy, fulfilled woman.
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