Jessica found herself having to reestablish her life from California when her mother, a Navy Veteran, moved her and her brothers to Virginia to escape her physically abusive husband regain control of their lives and future. Always a good student no matter what life brought her; Jessica was often overlooked and neglected by her family members. It was because of this neglect that Jessica was drawn to unhealthy and inappropriate relationships for the attention she wasn’t getting at home. Realizing the family needed assistance dealing with their trauma and support in securing permanent housing, Jessica’s mom reached out to Samaritan House. Working with her assigned Children’s Advocate, Jessica was assessed and referred to Military Integrative Therapy. During sessions with her art therapist, Jessica was able to express her feelings and overcome some of the troubling experiences and memories from her past. Specifically, Jessica was able to face the chaos surrounding her life and identify the choices she had to make in order to develop positive, healthy boundaries within her relationships. Since her involvement with Samaritan House, Jessica has flourished at school and was recently accepted to Old Dominion University where she is pursuing a career in social work in hopes of making a positive impact on the lives of others who have experienced violence at home.
During her impressionable pre-teen years, Ashley suffered on-going verbal and emotional abuse from her father. During such an important developmental time for a young girl trying to establish her self- identity, her father’s abuse left Ashley with emotional scars. Determined to create a happy and supportive environment for her children, Ashley’s mom turned to Samaritan House to find a job and a place to live. While Ashley’s mom worked with her assigned advocate on job placement and permanent housing stabilization, Ashley was assigned a Samaritan House Children’s Advocate who was devoted to helping Ashley work through her past trauma and to help her establish healthy goals for the future. Ashley’s advocate realized that because of the verbal and emotional trauma she had experienced in her young life, she had formed harmful habits that affected her personal health. Like her cousin, Jessica, Ashley was referred to therapy and was aided in working through her trauma via their art therapy program. Art therapy has helped Ashley build the self-esteem she was lacking, as well as develop coping mechanisms to deal with stressors she may encounter in life. Ashley has been working hard in hopes to apply for the health sciences academy, her aspirations are to be a nurse and work with cancer patients.
Both girls came from different backgrounds and experienced different dynamics of domestic violence, but because of the dedication of their mothers to establish healthy family environments and the support of Samaritan House staff and services, these girls are thriving. Through their ordeals, they have leaned on each other for support and relied on their familial bond for strength. They have been active participants in Samaritan House afterschool programs and all of the other children’s activities. They give back by supporting and engaging the younger youth in other Samaritan House programs and have become role models for many.
When my ex-husband battered and assaulted me multiple times it was the Samaritan House that took me and my son in to help us. With counseling and support groups they helped give me the strength and support to leave the marriage. To give me the courage to put it on my abusers permanent record so that he will think twice about hurting another woman or child because now he has a history. He was convicted of child abuse and neglect as well as assault and battery. He plead guilty.
I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if he battered another woman or harmed another child knowing I could of prevented it by not reporting it. The staff is so friendly. I was shocked that an advocate came to my trial and spoke with me in the waiting room before my trials. She really made the tension and anxiety subside while waiting I was waiting for court trial on my case.
The women in the support group really gave me strength to no longer let my abuser try to mentally abuse me since he’s not physically around me. Thank you so much for your organization. I am forever grateful.