My life changed in minutes when the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with seriously injured me and almost ended my life.

My children would have been left alone.  I am a single mother of three and I’m basically all they have.  I am not perfect. I have made many mistakes as far as parenting is concerned. But I was not going to make the same mistake over and over by living a life of domestic violence. I didn’t want to put my children through that.

I remember the relief I felt when the officer told me they had apprehended him and he was going to jail.  For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could breathe.

I still had serious mixed emotions because I loved this man, but the love for my children was going to keep me strong this time.  I called and spoke to a domestic violence advocate mainly because I don’t have much support.   Looking back now, he made sure of that.  Isolating me from the world and controlling me was another form of domestic violence along with the verbal abuse …. this list goes on.

I almost decided against meeting a domestic violence advocate, but I prayed about it and thought, What could it hurt?

We talked for a while and I was able to finally get out emotions and hurt that I had been holding inside for years.  I decided an injunction was the best option and getting to a safe place where he couldn’t find us was my only way.  I decided going to a safe house was the best option.  I was scared and worried about how the children would feel but it ended up being a good transition.  The best choice I had made in a long time.  I searched housing options while staying there and found Housing for the Homeless.  This agency assisted me into getting into transitional housing at a rent that would be affordable.  I have one year to get on my feet, and become self-sufficient again.

I was introduced to a company, Eckerd Kids, and worked with a wonderful, caring case manager who has helped my family tremendously.  They assisted with costs to get into the home and so many other things and resources that have really helped my family.  Today, I have my own home, my family is happy and I am becoming more stable every day.  I have help, but I also have more than that.  I have support and someone to encourage me along the way, guiding me and giving me the advice I need to stay independent and self-sufficient.

These programs made it possible to change my life and to keep my family safe and happy.  I am so thankful for the Women’s Center for getting me out of a terrible situation, Housing for the Homeless for making it possible to live affordably without relying on anyone, and thank you Eckerd Kids for your continued support and services.  I can say you saved my life and continue to give me the courage to make it on my own.  Putting kids first is obviously something we have in common.