Starting Over: Overcoming the Cycle of Domestic Violence

Ashley* remembered her first time at a shelter well. She and her mother had spent time at the shelter after her mother fled an abusive relationship.

While it was comforting to return to this safe, caring place, Ashley knew she could not be complacent. She had to break the cycle of domestic violence that had brought her back here, now as a 19-year old woman.

Our staff shared Ashley’s resolve and worked hand in hand with her, so she could chart a safe, secure future. Within days of her arrival, we helped Ashley enroll in a GED course to finish her last few high school credits. Once completed, we helped her apply to an intensive, four-month internship with the goal of earning a certificate in software management and beginning a new career.

The grueling program was five days a week, so we worked closely with Ashley to ensure she kept all of her appointments with her Volunteers of America case managers and therapists, met every obligation and never once doubted her ability to regain control of her life.

“I’m not doing this just for myself — I’m doing it for my siblings too.”

Ashley left the shelter at the end of the year, with a full-time job and high hopes for her future. Her case manager still keeps in contact and admires her perseverance.

Recently, Ashley shared that her younger siblings and the young women in her community told her “she was becoming their role model.” She
told us how inspired she was by their words. We hope Ashley knows how much she inspires us.

*Identity changed for privacy