Survivor Story

Leaving – this time for good

Sue happened to see an article written by a DSVS staff member in the local newspaper describing the various elements of emotional and financial abuse. She was astounded at how the abuse described in the story mirrored her own. Sue was living in extreme isolation, but after finding the courage to reach out to DSVS, decided to leave her abusive relationship. Having no transportation of her own, she reached out to a neighbor for a ride to town, where she met with a DSVS advocate for safety planning. It took Sue a lot of courage and careful planning for her to return to get her things from her home while Rick, her husband, was at work. Sue wasted no time looking for housing and employment. Within a few days she found an apartment, and DSVS helped her by providing a security deposit and first month’s rent.

It became apparent early on, that if Sue was going to be successful on her own, she would need transportation. She had scheduled several doctor’s appointments and numerous job interviews. DSVS was able to help her financially so she could purchase a car and get to where she needed to go. Sue was employed as a medical coder, but in her time with Rick, her certifications lapsed, so DSVS is also helping her become recertified so she can return to work. In the meantime, she took a job as a certified nursing assistant.

Living on her own, approaching so many difficult and painful changes took its toll on Sue, and her mental health began to suffer. DSVS staff recognized her need and the DSVS staff therapist began seeing Sue regularly. She has much left to conquer in her journey and continues to come in once a week for therapy.

Sue is determined not to return to Rick, no matter how difficult her circumstances become. She’d tried to leave him three times before and returned every time. The difference this time, Sue said, is that she has support. DSVS financial support, the support of our staff therapist and our advocates have finally made the difference for her.


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Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
Red Lodge Office
1119 South Broadway
PO Box 314 • Red Lodge, MT 59068
Office: 406-446-2296
Office Hours: 9-5, M-F

Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
Stillwater Office
565 N. 9th St., Suite 30
Columbus, MT 59019

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