June 22, 2016

Jill Is One Of Many

IT TOOK ME 12 YEARS TO LEAVE HIM.

jill_dv_story“I married young and had 4 kids with a man I loved. I had a family I chose to dedicate my life to. He became my foundation after my parents’ divorce and my mom’s accident.

“I didn’t recognize all the signs. They started so small and built up slowly over time. It wasn’t all bad. A lot of it was really wonderful. The violent episodes were sometimes years apart. That is what made it so hard, so confusing.

“My mom took me to a YWCA support group, and I began seeing a counselor. I cried and cried. I didn’t realize how much I needed a release, how much I was holding it together for everyone. I
learned about the power and control wheel, but I still didn’t want to leave him. I valued my family and wanted to work it out. The YWCA respected my decisions. They never wavered in their support for me, which made it safe for me to come back when I needed them again.

“His behavior got worse, and the violent episodes happened more frequently. I was scared for my life and le . We stayed at the YWCA domestic violence shelter. I was so angry, so upset that this
happened to me. The staff was gracious and kind and patient with me.

“I stayed at the shelter for 2 months before I found a new home. The YWCA connected me to a training program that helped me find employment. The YWCA offered me a match savings program that allowed me to purchase a computer. I then got my bachelor’s degree through online courses.

“I will never forget about this valuable resource and how important it has been to my survival.”
– Jill, Survivor and YWCA Spokane Client

By: Erica Schreiber

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