Parents and children fleeing from mental, physical, and emotional abuse turn to Crossroads Safehouse for help and hope every day. Stories from survivors like this remind us of the risks and sacrifices that are taken to create change:
“I fled. After multiple failed attempts at calling the police, many broken phones and shattered computers, I finally fled. I left my home and everything in it with just my children and the clothes we were wearing while he was away. He rarely left me alone for fear of me doing just this, but I had one chance and a small window in which to leave. I was 27 years old and suddenly a single mother of three, one being only an infant. I was a battered, bruised, and broken-down shell of a person simply trying to survive.
He had demolished every ounce of my being. My soul was crushed. I had spent every day for the last two years just waiting for the next smack across my face, or punch to the head, or kick to the stomach. I spent two years thinking there was no way out and my entire life would be controlled by this man. When I ate, when I slept, when I spoke, and when I could leave the house. And when I was able to get out of the house, what I wore, how long I could be gone, and who I could go with were chosen for me in attempts to cover the bruises, the marks, and the bald spots.
With my spirit damaged and my self-worth brutalized, I had a small glimmer of hope and I took it. With my kids in tow, I fled.
Physically away from him, I thought I could move on and finally be free of the isolation and the abuse. Little did I know that the physical abuse was nothing compared to the emotional and verbal abuse I endured for five more years. It was an onslaught of verbal beat downs that took me weeks to recover from each time they happened. The emotional breakdowns that followed were life-altering. They affected my job, my parenting skills, and my social life. My mental health was deteriorating. I was in a pit of despair and had lost all hope of living a life free from him. For five long years, I suffered silently through this. His incessant yammering of how worthless I was, or how unlovable I would be made me believe I would never be free. Eventually, the only option was to get as far away from my abuser as possible. So, on a whim, I uprooted my children to selfishly try and give my kids a better life and myself a chance at healing. They needed a mother who was strong and could overcome any obstacle. They needed a mother who could and would do anything for them.
We moved to Colorado, and it was the best thing I could have ever done. Suppressing the emotions and trying to hide the damage that was done, I started a new chapter. It wasn’t until I found Crossroads that I truly began to heal. Having a voice, feeling validated, and having the strength to stand up for yourself, even if you aren’t able to stand up to your abuser, can mean the difference between healing and suffering. The damage was not irreversible, and I slowly began to raise my self-worth.
Knowing that there are resources, options, and assistance for ALL people in ALL stages of Domestic Violence, even years after the damage was really starting to show, makes all the difference. Crossroads gave me a voice, an outlet, a support system. Crossroads gave me my power back.”
~From a past Crossroads Safehouse Client