Rebecca’s husband had been verbally abusive since the beginning of their 14-year marriage. No matter how hard she worked to make a safe and happy home for her family, Rebecca’s husband always told her that her efforts weren’t good enough… that she wasn’t good enough. Her husband isolated her from friends and family. He took control of their finances, giving Rebecca barely enough to feed their children and herself. He threatened to hurt their children if she ever left him.
In the three months before Rebecca came to Women’s Place, her husband’s aggressive and controlling behaviours started to be accompanied by punches and other forms of physical assault. With each attack, he became increasingly violent.
Rebecca did her best to shield her children from the abuse, but on a July morning earlier this year, it became clear to her that she could no longer protect them without help. During a fight, Rebecca’s husband hit her in the side of the head while one of their eight month-old twin girls was in her arms. His fist barely missed their daughter’s precious face.
In that moment, Rebecca made a decision. Recently, a concerned friend had given her the phone number for Women’s Place of South Niagara. She now knew without a doubt that it was time to ask for help.
Knowing that she only had the 10 minutes it would take her husband to shower, Rebecca quickly gathered her twins, her five year-old son and her 14 year-old daughter. She grabbed her purse and rushed her family into the car. With no time to collect personal possessions or items of comfort for her children, she drove off. Rebecca stopped in a parking lot to call Women’s Place only when she knew that she was far enough from home that her husband would not easily find her.
A Women’s Place counsellor answered the crisis line and helped Rebecca to begin the process of starting over. She arranged for Rebecca and her family to stay at one of our shelters, where they remained for many months. She and her children celebrated several birthdays and holidays with us.
When Rebecca’s children returned to school in September, she was overwhelmed with emotion to see her children secure and happy. “The help I received at Women’s Place and seeing my children living without fear will help me to have the strength to build a new life on my own.”