“When I arrived here, I didn’t know who I was or where I was—and I didn’t care,” said “Brianna", a domestic abuse survivor in Phoenix. “My mind, my very being, was scatter in a million places—shattered in a million pieces.”
Escaping an Abusive Relationship
A quarter of all women experience violence at the hands of someone they love. For Brianna that meant living with an abusive husband for most of her life. The years of torment stripped her of her will to live. Fortunately, she escaped and found help at My Sisters’ Place, Catholic Charities’ domestic abuse shelter.
When women flee from dangerous relationships, they often lack support from family or friends who don’t want to get involved. Some women go back to their abuser to find shelter.
My Sisters’ Place is a confidential, residential shelter for women and their children who choose to leave an abusive relationship. Women find safety and support through education and services, so they can work toward a life independent from their abuser. Part of the program includes safety planning, skill building, counseling and referrals to transitional programs.
I Am a Human Being
In time, Brianna began to regain her self-worth and embrace the services that were extended to her. “It took the understanding in groups, counseling, tough love and amazing love from the staff and other ladies who have come and gone to help me realize that I am somebody—that I am a human being,” said Brianna.
Now Brianna is living a life without fear or violence. “It’s alright to cry, to laugh, to speak what’s on my mind without being beaten or belittled,” said Brianna. “It took these women to help me to begin to help myself spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. I have come to the conclusion that I am not the victim, but the victor.”
Renewing of the Mind
Many women do escape the cycle of abuse and start a new life, but few do it alone. Brianna gives the credit for her transformation to My Sisters’ Place. “The staff gave me a vision of self-empowerment that began in the mind,” said Brianna. “It’s like a renewing of the mind, and then it spreads through the body and soul.”
Each year, it’s estimated that 1.3 million women will be victims of domestic violence, though most cases are never reported to the police. Women stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. Threats, intimidation and hopelessness play a large part and leaving can be the most dangers time.
Need immediate assistance? Call our 24-hour hotline at 480-821-1024.