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Judy’s Story

Judy was 41 years old when she came to shelter in July 2010 because of the abuse of her husband of 22 years. She had married young having been flattered by his devotion and attention to her.

By the time she came into shelter years later, the exceptional attention had become virtual imprisonment. She was not allowed out of the house without him except to go to work and she was not permitted to send e-mails or make phone calls to family and friends. Any attempt to share Christmas or Thanksgiving with family or friends turned into an embarrassment and a “disaster.” The physical abuse was cyclical, often months would elapse with no physical abuse. But when it erupted, it often involved choking until she nearly passed out or physically holding her down and restraining her. She turned over her paycheck to him and she had no checkbook, no credit cards, and no credit in her own name.

Prior to leaving, her world was “small and dark and my life was not worth living.” She came to shelter leaving her three teen children behind because there seemed to be no other option for her. Judy’s shelter stay lasted 12 days, during which time she found safe housing in a secure building, she got a Protection from Abuse Order, and she began establishing her own credit.

Subsequently, in the succeeding months, she joined SafeNet’s non-residential support group and has begun to re-build relationships with her family and her children.

Judy’s Story
~ Shelter

Comments/Analysis
Judy made unusual progress in only 12 days because of her motivation, because she did not have young children and because her husband allowed and encouraged her to work. More often, the isolating nature of abuse leaves a woman without self-esteem, and without a work history. In addition, most of the children accompanying women in shelter are very young.

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