With Giving Tuesday just around the corner, we're sharing Voices of Hope with you - an opportunity to hear directly from the people we serve who have been supported by Sign of Hope funded programs. Here's Esther's story, in her own words.
For three years I was trapped in an abusive relationship, using every ounce of power I had left to protect my children from what was happening.
Despite my best efforts, the morning we fled, my abuser physically attacked me in front of my kids and they were forced to witness the kind of violence which robs children of their innocence.
When I regained consciousness after the attack, I knew that staying was no longer an option. One by one, I buckled each of us into my vehicle and fled to our nearest emergency shelter. It was here that I was connected with La Salle and our healing journey began.
When we first arrived at La Salle, I was in full-on survival mode, merely moving through the motions to get my children and I to the next day. Staff worked tirelessly to ensure my children and I knew we were safe, cared for, and that what happened was not our fault. As we worked through the daily programming offered by the shelter, I cannot overstate how critical those three things were to our healing.
Staff at La Salle empowered me to rediscover parts of myself I thought my abuser had taken. For years, he used the most beautiful parts of me against me. It wasn’t until I was at La Salle that I was finally able to reclaim my compassion, my drive, my spark, and my purpose. To this day, I’m full of unspeakable gratitude for the staff who never gave up hope, even on the days where it felt like the wounds were too deep to ever fully heal.
As a mother, the most incredible shifts for me to witness were those within my children. Slowly, words and hugs began replacing physical outbursts. Although we have finished our time at La Salle, I still implement the skills I learned during Child Parent Relationship Therapy to continue building the healthy life my children and I deserve.
During a time where the future felt darker than ever, La Salle empowered me to take control of what life after abuse looks like for my family. Thanks to their support, I now stand confidently in the brightness of everything beautiful ahead.