Community Partners Come Together
At DSVS, we partner with local healthcare providers. Through them, we get several referrals a year. One of them was Lisa, the mother of three children. In a small doctor’s exam room, the story she shared with our direct services advocate was that of a life lived under extreme manipulation and control. Her partner monitored her every movement from the minutes used on her phone, which he provided, to the miles driven in her car. She wasn’t allowed to work, and had no money of her own. Still her partner required her to pay for essentials and pay him back if he paid for anything. Food stamps helped to offset the grocery bill, but even that was under scrutiny. Additionally, Lisa’s middle son has special needs, but her partner wouldn’t allow anyone access to the home for evaluation and treatment.
Lisa desperately wanted out, but had no resources of her own and her safety was a major concern. DSVS provided her with a donated cell phone so she could stay in touch without her partner’s knowledge, and our advocate helped her devise a plan to leave. Her plan was to go to her grandparents’ home, two-days drive away. Luckily, Lisa’s partner worked out of town, and would be gone for several days.
First, she needed to find homes for 15 animals living on the small farm. DSVS reached out to a local animal welfare organization for help. Within two days all the animals were placed in loving homes. The following morning, Lisa packed her car with the barest essentials for her and her children, informed the school that her kids would be moving and told the children they were going to visit grandma and grandpa. DSVS provided a pre-paid gas card and made arrangements for lodging on the journey. The family’s trip went smoothly and she arrived safely at her grandparents’ home, just seven days after her first contact with DSVS.
Lisa was ready for a fresh start, and the day after arriving at her grandparents’ she began searching for work and a place to live. She connected with various social services, and in our advocate’s last conversation with her, Lisa said she was relieved to live life free from fear and control, and to see her children laugh and play without a care.
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