My name is Jessica and I am an Outreach Worker with Women’s Crisis Services.  I wanted to share a bit about a client who accessed the Outreach Program and recently provided us with some positive feedback regarding her experience.  This woman first reached out for support back in April of 2009.  She had one individual appointment with an Outreach Worker to talk about her relationship and find out about her rights.  She left with some new knowledge, but it wasn’t until February 2010 that she was ready to reconnect and get the support she needed to move on towards a healthier life.  She shared that her marriage was verbally and emotionally abusive.  She experienced yelling, put downs and constant tension.  She also shared that her husband had damaged things within the home during bouts of anger.  This woman said she tried to get her husband to go to counseling, but he would never go until she mentioned leaving.  However, even during the counseling appointments, he still found a way to put the blame on her and take no responsibility for his own actions.

This client was a very active member in the Outreach Program and accessed both individual and group support on an ongoing basis.  Although she was actively getting support and education to move on, she still struggled with feelings of guilt as to whether or not she was making the right decision and was fearful of making a mistake.  In June 2011 she started to make plans to leave and even got some legal advice in July 2011.  She continued to access support, but in September 2011, she identified that fear was keeping her from making the final step to leave.  She continued going to group and by November 2011 she started packing up belongings with a goal to move out in January 2012.  By February 2012, this client’s hard work paid off and she moved out into a new place of her own.  A place that was healthy and free of abuse.  She also made another big step in February and ended her time in the Outreach Program.  She knew she felt stronger and had the tools she needed to move on with her life.

Recently, a thank you note was dropped off.  She wanted to thank myself, the other Outreach group facilitators and the shelter as a whole.  She expressed that it took her a long time to leave an abusive and unhealthy relationship, but we helped her do it in her own time.  She shared that she was so grateful for our patience, support and education about abusive relationships.  She acknowledged that even though she was a professional and came from a fairly decent upbringing, she still needed the support and felt that education is critical in “breaking” the patterns of abuse.

She also dropped off a bunch of books that helped her in her journey of healing in the hopes of passing them along to other clients.

Learning to Leave by Lynette Triere with Richard Peacock

Learning to Love Yourself by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruise

Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

Contemplating Divorce by Susan Pease Gadoua

Surviving Your Divorce by Michael G. Cochrane

Mars and Venus Starting Over by John Gray

Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford

Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends by Dr. Bruce Fisher and Dr. Robert Alberti