Have you ever had one of those “déjà vu” moments? They can transport you back many years and bring back a host of feelings – completely beyond our control. So it was with the client featured in the following survivor story. Serendipity brought her back to the WCA as part of a volunteer effort organized by her current employer. Walking the familiar halls and seeing the familiar sights brought back a flood of emotions for her. Hearing her story made a tremendous impression on us and we hope on you as well.
In one of several rooms along a hallway on the upper floor of the WCA, a room that used to house families, a woman named Holly stood motionless. She was looking out the window and seemed, for a brief moment, to be in another time and place.
Eleven years ago, after a particularly violent altercation with her husband, Holly and her children found safety in that room, part of the WCA’s secure shelter, for close to three weeks. During that time, the family met with counselors, court advocates and a case manager to begin the difficult and painful process of moving on.
Even after her husband was behind bars and they were able to safely move back to their home, Holly and her children continued to receive counseling, court advocacy and case management services as, what she called, “out-patient” clients.
When Holly had to appear in front of a grand jury to determine if her husband would be indicted for her attempted murder, as well as for the sexual abuse of her daughter and her niece, Holly had the rock-solid presence of a WCA Court Advocate next to her each step of the way. The Court Advocate helped her to understand the process and provided emotional support in the face of reliving the terrible details of her abuse. Telling her story to the jury, in that moment of overwhelming emotion, Holly was not alone.
Along with counseling and court advocacy, another of the important and impactful services Holly and her family received was the time and assistance of their WCA Case Manager. They qualified for support from the Crime Victim’s Compensation Program as well as other community partners to help get the healing and restorative services they needed. This complex and sometimes overwhelming process was much easier for Holly because she had someone knowledgeable to offer advice and support with each step.
Holly openly shares her belief that the WCA saved her life. She is thankful that she and her children are safe and no longer have to live in fear. Because of generous community support, Holly and her children have come full circle.
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