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October is domestic violence awareness month

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By Elizabeth Creed

By Delena Trent

Executive Director, The Caring Place

For almost 13 years, you’ve listened to me talk to your organizations and churches. You’ve read my articles published in the newspaper and you’ve donated from your hearts. For that, I am so thankful.

Here are two letters from former clients that tell you the true stories of what they went through before escaping a life of domestic violence and emotional abuse from their partners.

Please keep The Caring Place in your hearts this month as we work to raise awareness about domestic violence. It takes all of us and we appreciate all you have done and continue to do for our women and children who are experiencing this terrible tragedy in their day-to-day lives.

 

• Going from victim to survivor is not an easy path. Simply coming to terms with the reality that someone you love so dearly could actually bring so much pain and almost death to someone that they proclaim to love.

That is the reality that I had to face when I woke up in intensive care at the hospital. That was three years ago and though the healing has been slow it’s continuously moved forward.

After two months of hospitalization, I was released to the care of The Caring Place. They worked tirelessly to reinstate my sense of pride and worth through many group and individual counseling sessions. There were many tears but also laughter and genuine concern for my well-being. The staff never pushed my progress any faster than I could open up to.

Not only had I almost lost my life, but I had also lost the family dynamic that I had worked for all my life. When domestic violence takes control of your behavior and every day thought process, it can be extremely difficult to not go back to what is familiar. Learning to be self-sufficient and unafraid of the unknown is part of the ability to be a survivor.

When I was able to face the challenges ahead of me, I was able to obtain a job in order to support myself. After three years I still visit The Caring Place on a weekly basis to do volunteer work as needed.

 

• Last night, he yelled at me, hit me and began choking me as he dragged by bruised and battered body out of the back door of our home. This is my story and it all began one recent stormy night. A night I’ll never forget.

My infant daughter and I were kicked to the curb with only the clothes on our back. Clothes that eventually became soaking wet from the heavy rain pouring down on us. As we sat there, I prayed like never before asking God to send us an angel to watch over and deliver us from the devastation and destruction that “our storm” had done to our bodies, mind and soul.

It wasn’t long before the night was over and our prayers answered. An elderly lady from the local church had stopped to offer us a ride. When I told her we had no where to go, she told me she had the perfect “place” for us – The Caring Place.

From the moment we arrived, I knew God was real. Not only did he deliver us to safety. He also placed us into the comfort and care of a loving, gentle and “feel at home” environment (something we hadn’t had in a long time). A place we could relax and feel no shame. A place to be loved in a healthy way. A place for support, counseling and guidance. The accommodations from the staff were above and beyond anything I ever could have imagined. I was able to heal and feel whole again.

I want to show my heartfelt appreciation to The Caring Place for showing us how to get through the “storm” and dance in the rainbow. You are an amazing and special group of women.