I am no longer afraid
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
For many of us, family and home are where we feel safe. For some women and children, this is not so. Violence against women occurs every day at an alarmingly significant rate and affects thousands of women and children accross our country. Right now women are being called names, slapped, shoved, choked, sexually assaulted, prevented from working outside the home, and isolated from family and friends at the hands of their violent intimate partners.
Celeste came to IHO with bruises from the iron that her husband had used on her back. She was smart and capable, but saw neither of these qualities in herself after years of verbal abuse. During the early part of her relationship she lost her self-confidence and when her husband started to beat her she lost even more of herself. Celeste and her children lived in fear every day.
But Celeste was very resilient - she did not given up. She left her home - her abuser. She came to IHO with her two children in the hopes of rebuilding their lives free of violence. At IHO, Celeste and her children felt safe for the first time in many years. They were now living in a beautiful, comfortable, secure environment with others who were going through the same thing. Celeste and her children received counselling support and help to secure affordable and safe housing in the community. One of Celeste's dreams was to return to school and become a nurse. Thanks to the Virginia Lorraine Stewart Fund administered by IHO, we were able to help her fulfill her dream by paying for her tuition fees and books.
Celeste is only one of the many women who struggled and was pushed down, but persevered and has broken the cycle of violence for herself and her children. She was able to find the help she needed thanks to your generosity. Without your gifts, monetary and otherwise, our shelter would not be able to make a difference in the lives of women like Celeste.