Last month, we introduced Stephanie*, and each month, we will give updates about her time working toward freedom from all forms of victimization with Stepping Stones advocates. Read below to learn about Stephanie’s journey so far:

“My husband has been abusing me for years. I just dealt with it because he wasn’t hurting the kids and I didn’t want the family to fall apart. I guess it already had. One afternoon, he yelled at me for hours because he’s convinced that when I spent time with my sister that afternoon, I was cheating on him. I was fed up with it and got up to leave when he punched me in the side repeatedly. Thankfully he didn’t break anything but my son watched it happen. It was the moment that I finally decided that I couldn’t live like this anymore.

My sister told me about Stepping Stones, and after the last incident, I called them. They were nice and said they could take us in. So, I packed up just a couple things and left.

The first month has been really hard. My kids told me they’re scared, not because we are in the shelter now, but because they don’t know what is happening. I’m kinda scared, too. It’s hard to think because I worry that I won’t be able to give my kids a good life alone. But I’m happy that we are safe and they won’t see him hit me again. EVER.

The advocates here have helped me to start thinking about what is most important and how to start dealing with all the feeling I have. I took an assessment that helped me see that my relationship was really, really bad. So, they helped me get an order of protection. I am really scared, but I am trying to just take it one day at a time.”