In 2019, Marlena found out she was pregnant. She was afraid and didn’t want to raise a child with her abusive husband. So, she fled to our shelter and gave birth to a beautiful son named Julian. After three months of healing, starting a new job, and clearing debt racked up by her ex, our team helped them move into their own safe home! And we've been there to support her family in rebuilding their life ever since.
Here's an update, in Marlena's words:
“I finally had my feet under me – my independence, my own finances – and was making good decisions for myself and my baby! I was finding a new circle of people, like my advocate at Raphael House and the ladies in my trauma support group. Then COVID hit.
Being stuck at home had me feeling trapped and scared again – like I used to with my ex. Then I was furloughed from my job, and was so terrified that Julian would go to his father if we didn’t have a place to live.
My advocate at Raphael House was an angel for us. She helped me with rent, so we could stay in our home. She dropped off fresh food and diapers every week, and helped me deal with courts for the custody case. When my support group started meeting online last May, it was like we were back in the same room! It helped me feel like I wasn’t the only one going through all of this. Like I wasn’t alone.
I’m still taking it day by day, but I’ll make it through whatever is next because I have people at Raphael House who are there for me. So I can keep my son safe and teach him to be a good man.
We’re going to be okay.” -Marlena, survivor and mom
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