An anonymous shelter resident took courage in sharing with us her story prior to seeking shelter and what SafeHouse emergency shelter did for her and her recovery. I encourage you to read it and understand a little deeper the struggles of overcoming a domestic violence relationship but the true joy and healing that can come once able to find a safe way to escape.

“I was asked to give a testimonial regarding the horrific, horrible, and humiliating abuse that I had endured for nearly 19 long years and I am honored to share my story. Mainly because I believe putting things on paper and looking at it can be very healing along with a lot of prayer.

About a month ago, July 5th to be exact, I was convinced would be the date that would read on my tombstone. That is if anyone would’ve found my body or even be curious as to where I was. My abuser kept me locked inside a gate so I couldn’t get out nor could anyone get in. I was forbidden to have communication with the outside world and my abuser would break my phones and put locks on my door to enforce this. I never had keys or the freedom to go as I pleased. He would leave me alone with no one to talk to and nothing to help pass the time. Talk about mental abuse at its best. Financial, physical, & spiritual abuse soon followed.

Thanks to SafeHouse I’m working through all forms of abuse and slowly finding healing but the spiritual abuse was the most terrifying and hardest to overcome. On the day of my escape I was laying on the floor screaming and crying for God or anyone that would hear me. Screaming for help & no one came, no one heard & I believed my father up above had turned against me. My abuser made me believe I was going to hell and that I wasn’t a child of God. That God and all of my family and friends didn’t love me any longer. That’s exactly what he wanted me to believe. That I was all alone since he ran off every single soul in my life, from my so called friends, my family, my babies, & God.

I prayed to God to get me out of this hell on earth place & I managed to jump a 7ft chainlink fence which is not easy for a 53 yr old lady but with God’s strength I made it to safety with only the clothes on my back. Of course I had no money and of course no phone but I was able to make it to the local Fire Station which had a sign reading “SafePlace”, I knocked at the door & the rest is all blessings.

I was referred to SafeHouse and met my knew home and family. SafeHouse met all of my necessities from personal hygiene, transportation to and from appointments, medication, meals etc. But the most important thing that SafeHouse did for me was give me love and support 24/7. This was something that I had been neglected of for the past 19 years of my life while with my abuser. I was able to experience group counseling, game nights, help with life skills and getting me back on my feet. I am not sure what I would’ve done without SafeHouse and am eternally grateful to be a survivor and no longer a victim of domestic violence. Hypothetically speaking ladies jump that fence no matter how short or tall it is, you can do it! If I did it I believe you can too. There’s a “Safe Place” sign somewhere, watch for it. It will lead you to safety.”

If you or anyone you know is in a domestic violence relationship and wants help please call our 24/7 crisis line (205) 669-7233 for help, love, and support – something we all need and deserve.