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Victims come to LSS CHOICES at different stages in their lives but for one very important reason, to find safety and healing. Each person’s story is unique. We strive to meet our clients and residents where they are and serve them as individuals so that they can better their lives. Here are some of those unique stories.
Klaire was in a relationship with her abuser for almost two years. At first, he was nice, but soon red flags started appearing. He isolated Klaire from her family, said they were trash and that he would kill them. He threatened Klaire too and told her she was stupid. Although he wasn’t physically violent, Klaire felt alone, trapped, and afraid. One night, when her abuser was asleep, she found the courage to call a crisis hotline and was connected to LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence.
Through counseling at CHOICES, Klaire realized that she wasn’t crazy and deserved better. She and her counselor made a safety plan. They asked Klaire’s landlord to give Klaire and her abuser 30 days’ notice to vacate their apartment. This plan worked and gave Klaire and excuse to get away from her abuser.
Klaire has reunited with family and will soon be relocating to a new state to join them and put more distance between her and her abuser. CHOICES is assisting with moving expenses because her abuser saddled Klaire with the expenses of their canceled engagement. CHOICES has also connected Klaire to a domestic violence organization there that will help her continue her journey to healing. “I’m not going to be in this situation again,” she said.
Annie had been married to her abuser for almost 20 years. Over the years he put down their son and was insensitive to his special needs. He also called Annie names and accused her of being crazy when she disagreed with him or stood up for their son. The abuse was beginning to affect their children and Annie decided to leave. She turned to LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence for counseling. In the past when Annie tried to leave, her husband cut off her access to their bank accounts and refused to discuss paying child support. Things are different now because she was able to complete a degree and find a stable job, so she no longer has to rely on her abuser for financial support. Annie is now in the process of ending her abusive marriage.
After years of abuse Jennifer made the difficult decision to leave her abuser and come to LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence, but she continued to worry about how the family dog was being cared for at home. She confided in her case manager that she often thought about returning to the abusive home care for her beloved pet. With the support of our legal advocate the dog was included on her order of protection and the police accompanied her to the house to retrieve Roxie. Roxie is now safe in our pet neighborhood and Jennifer is able play with her each day as she focuses on rebuilding her life and moving forward.
Nine-year-old Marcus came to the LSS CHOICES shelter with his mother and two brothers after his father, who had been abusing his mother for many years, choked her and threatened the kids. At first Marcus didn’t know why they were at the shelter, only that his mother was very sad. She soon explained to him and his brothers, and while they missed her making their favorite foods and being able to watch all their shows on TV, they were glad their mother said she felt safe. Marcus says he likes the toys at the shelter, playing basketball outside and that there’s no more fighting and yelling.
Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio is a United Way agency, a member of Lutheran Services in America and a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
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