Network Against Domestic Abuse of North Central CT
Darla and her four children entered Julie’s Safe House having experienced serious trauma. As Darla was an immigrant and knew little English, she found it extremely stressful entering a shared space with others who did not have the same religious and cultural beliefs. As such, Darla did not immediately feel at ease with staff and seemed unsure of her new surroundings. It was important to gain her trust so that we could help the family move forward with their lives. We started with small things we could address such as providing a stroller for the youngest child, clothing for all the children, and addressing their immediate concerns around safety and security. Her abuser still had access to Darla’s Department of Social Services (DSS) account, so he could potentially deplete her Food Stamps and cash assistance. The Family Advocate (FA) assisted Darla with contacting DSS to have her existing card cancelled and a new one issued. The FA worked one-to-one with Darla on identifying her immediate goals and helped her make an appointment for a photo I.D. The Network assisted Darla in finding English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in the area. Darla was connected to Witness Protection (WP). The FA also worked closely with WP to coordinate services including finding appropriate safe housing for Darla and her four children. The Network connected the family to free vaccinations and medical providers in the area. The children participated in our Back-to-School Program and received clothing, shoes, backpacks, and school supplies for the new school year. Darla has shown tremendous progress in the months she has spent with us. When she arrived, she was suffering from depression and had difficulty sleeping. She is now sleeping better and has the motivation to enjoy outside activities and daily outings. When she first entered the safe house, she refused to use public transportation or visit local establishments in fear that her abuser would find her. She now has the confidence to travel to appointments and run errands. Darla and her children are now in their own home. Through the Home Safe Home Initiative, we were able to provide the family with gently used furniture as well as a washer and dryer and air conditioning unit. We also provided Darla with four desks for her children to use for remote learning. The desks were handmade by the Somers Congregational Church and donated to The Network to provide to clients.