Domestic Violence

Catholic Charities has two programs to help individuals and families facing domestic violence. These programs help provide counseling, support groups, community resources. My Sisters’ Place, our confidential domestic violence shelter, serves individuals and families fleeing violence. The Pathways program is a community-based resource provider that helps victims of domestic violence in Maricopa County. This three-part team helps survivors by providing free counseling, support groups, and mobile victim advocacy.

Thursday, 08 October 2020

Young Mother Leaves Abuse

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Young Mother Leaves Abuse Photo © Alena Ozerova |

If you walked into Emily’s office, you’d never know the lifetime of abuse she had experienced growing up or the secret trauma she experienced daily. Although young, Emily is a hardworking, ambitious employee and an attentive, loving mother. Most people would be envious of the way her life looks, but in truth, she was being abused, physically, emotionally and financially.

Emily worked hard to create a happy life for her family. All that ambition and grit could not stop the abuse by her partner. Life had been peaceful before the pandemic; the added stress transformed her partner into an abuser.

Young Mother Flees Violence

Emily would not allow her children to be brought up in a violent, abusive home. She had grown up that way and knew the damage it could do. She called for help and came to My Sisters’ Place, a confidential domestic violence shelter near Phoenix.

The team at My Sisters’ Place see hundreds of clients each year. Emily was different. She tackled every obstacle that came her way in record time. “When clients come to My Sisters’ Place, it can take a month to get acclimated to the environment. Getting children settled, living with strangers and getting emotionally ready to handle the next step is difficult,” said Sara Lewis, domestic violence case manager. “In many cases, the clients who come to us have been isolated and haven’t worked. They may have no job skills. We help them make a resume, find an entry level job and take steps to gain independence.”

Motivated to Change

When Emily came to My Sisters’ Place, she already had a job. She worked all day, then came by to the shelter and made a home cooked meal for her children. She worked hard to keep life structured and as consistent as possible for her children, including keeping them in the same school. 

Emily happily accepted all the resources available. Many of the support groups met virtually but Emily prioritized attendance, even though she was often the only one there. She was highly engaged with the staff and took every step to succeed.

A Safe Place to Heal

She also advocated for her children. Children at My Sisters’ Place work with their own case manager. Emily was committed to getting counseling for her children too. In the short time they were at My Sisters’ Place, the children relaxed, they knew they were in a safe place. They could focus on being kids.

Emily was at My Sisters’ Place for almost two months and recently moved into her own place.

Your support of My Sisters’ Place and Pathways helps women like Emily find a safe place to heal and start over after experiencing abuse.


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