Jessica called A New Leaf’s Crisis Hotline, desperate to escape her abusive marriage. With nowhere to go, she turned to DVSTOP to provide safe, temporary shelter. After taking that step, and finding help, Jessica said she was ready to move forward with getting a divorce, a job, and starting a new life with her children. ”
Jessica called A New Leaf’s Crisis Hotline, desperate to escape her abusive marriage. She and her children had been sleeping in her car the night before; they were hungry, tired and scared. With no shelter space available in Maricopa County, Jessica and her kids would have nowhere to go. She was terrified to go home, knowing her husband would be furious that she had left. What would he do? Beat her, hurt the children, prevent her from ever leaving again? Thankfully, A New Leaf’s Domestic Violence Safe Temporary Overflow Program (DV STOP) exists to provide temporary shelter when there is nowhere else to go.
With a safe bed to sleep in, Jessica and her children rested for several hours. When she was ready, a case manager immediately took care of Jessica’s basic needs and worked on a safety plan with them. Jessica shared that she had been living in a nightmare for many years, enduring mental and physical abuse, often putting herself in harm’s way to protect her two children. She said her husband never showed compassion to her or their children. He manipulated her into thinking that if she tried to leave she would lose her children. He would not allow her to secure a job or even drive a car. But when Jessica started to plan her escape, she began waking up at 4:00AM, when everyone was asleep, to take the car out and teach herself how to drive.
Jessica was afraid of what would happen if she left, but she knew that she had to do it for herself and her children. Despite all of the uncertainty, it was Jessica’s immense love for her children that gave her the strength to take that step. What stood out to Jessica’s case manager is that she refused to see herself as a victim. Jessica told her case manager that she would rather sleep in a car with her children than go home. Now that she had taken that step, and found help, Jessica said she was ready to move forward with a divorce, to get a job, and to start a new life with her children. Jessica and her children were only at A New Leaf’s DV STOP for two days before they were placed at a longer-term shelter program. A New Leaf’s DV STOP was there for them in their greatest time of need and connected them to support and resources to break free of their nightmare. Because it takes more than courage to end domestic violence.