Stepping Stones is the place where you can SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT.

From a survivor who spoke out:

“For years I spent so much time making my house look perfect, I volunteered for Soroptomists and I was even President for two years. I made sure my kids and I wore the right clothes, that I drove the right car. No one would have believed in a million years that I was living with this horrible abuse. I didn’t speak out because my husband would probably lose his job or leave me and the kids.

I liked my life and I didn’t want to change it, I just wanted him to quit drinking and quit being so selfish and mean. Finally, my oldest son was having a sleep over and my husband came home drunk and started in with the yelling and complaining about kids always being over at “his” house. He made me drive my son’s friend home at 11:30 at night. I was so embarrassed and my 11 year old son asked me why I let dad act like that. He announced that he wanted to live at his friend’s house. I knew I had to do something.

I heard that Stepping Stones would keep my information anonymous, so I called at 2 am after my husband was long since passed out. The advocate talked to me for almost an hour and made me feel hopeful. I think that was the first time in a long time. As soon as I took the kids to school the next day, I went for my first appointment with my advocate. On the wall in her office was a sign that said “Break the Silence and Take Your Life Back.” For some reason that stuck with me. I took her advice and told two people that I trusted what was going on in my home. God, that was hard and I was absolutely mortified.

But when they said they sort of suspected it and they were always afraid to ask me, I immediately felt relief. It was like once I said it out loud, I was free. I’ve been in counseling now for 1 and 1/2 years. About a year ago I felt strong enough to follow through on divorce. Me and my two kids stayed at Stepping Stones for about 4 months.

I worked at their Thrift Store for about 6 months and saved a little money. We are now sharing a house with another women and her one son that I met at Stepping Stones. I got a great job and I am now surrounded by people that know the real me and love me anyway. I broke the silence and got my life back.”

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