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When he held a gun to her head and threatened to kill her, “Sally” knew she must escape her husband’s abuse. But with no family locally, there was only one place she and her daughter could go for shelter.
For those who live a violence-free life, the toll of 25 years of physical, verbal, financial, and emotional abuse can be difficult to comprehend. However, Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA (DVSSP) understood the challenges Sally faced and helped her to move forward – step by step. From filing a Protection from Abuse Order to applying to housing programs and clearing past debt, the DVSSP staff helped Sally find the resources she needed to build an independent life and the strength to reject her husband’s attempts to regain control of her. Today, Sally and her daughter live in their own apartment and continue to receive counseling services. The support and encouragement from DVSSP helped this survivor through some of her most difficult days. In appreciation, Sally wrote the following before leaving the shelter:
“You kept me safe, protected me, and guided me in the right direction. I thank you all for your kindness, your wisdom, support, and empowerment . . . You all have made an everlasting impression on my daughter and me. You gave me the power to fight for what is right. To show my daughter I can be supermom, like she thinks I am . . . I know my fight isn't over, but I am on the right track, and I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel . . . So, if any of you ever have a bad day or ask yourself ‘why am I even doing this?’ – it is because of people like me and my daughter. Never doubt you really do change lives!”