From Homeless to Hopeful
After living in a violent marriage for 10 years, Ann was surprised when she was served with an order of protection – legal action brought on by her husband, who claimed he feared for his safety. She was shocked, but quickly figured out that it was retaliation for her recent decision to leave him.
The order of protection forced her to leave the home with her daughter, essentially forcing the two of them into homelessness in January. She had no money, no possessions, and no vehicle. She was also ordered to stay away from the couple’s young son.
Law enforcement easily recognized that she was the victim of domestic violence and even though they could not legally do anything to help, they encouraged her to reach out to DSVS. DSVS was able to attend and advocate on behalf of Ann at the permanent order of protection hearing. Thankfully, it was denied as the judge recognized that Ann was the victim rather than the perpetrator. However, that didn’t stop Ann’s husband. He immediately sought out another order of protection from another County court, which was again granted due to the nature of the outrageous allegations that Ann’s husband was making. DSVS was able to find an attorney who was willing to take on Ann’s case pro bono. Her attorney was able to get the second order of protection dismissed and the judge allowed Ann access to her home to get possessions for her and her daughter. DSVS paid for a moving truck to help Ann get some of her possessions from the house. She moved into a homeless shelter with her daughter.
During this difficult time, Ann found a job and started work immediately. Ann and her daughter got ready for work and school at the homeless shelter for 32 days. She was fortunate to move into a low cost apartment, and DSVS provided Ann and her daughter with many household items so they could start fresh in their new home. Ann also obtained a second part-time job and has started attending a weekly domestic violence support group. She sees her son every weekend and will soon be going through the final court proceedings to make her divorce and parenting plan final. Ann is on her way to a new life free from violence.
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Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
1119 South Broadway
PO Box 314 • Red Lodge, MT 59068
Office Hours: 9-5, M-F
565 N. 9th St., Suite 30
Columbus, MT 59019
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