I remember, as a child,
Hiding in the dark closet with my sisters and brothers,
Unable to block out the sounds of my father beating my mother.
We would cry and pray together, asking God to make it stop.
It never did…..
It never did…..
Now, 28 years later, when I talk about it,
I still feel that helplessness and fear.
I see the house, the closet.
I feel huddled up with six kids in the closet… Crying quietly. My Mom screams… My father yells…
The crashing sounds…
Deep terror… Feeling it was our fault somehow.
We all paid for it in our adult lives. Not one of us escaped.
We paid for it with drugs and alcohol and violent relationships, reliving and acting in our own ways
the script we grew up with.
That was just from listening to it
just from listening to it.
The effect it had on our lives.
What is sad
is that I didn’t realize until the end of my last abusive relationship
That my kids were suffering
as I did as a child
-Anonymous poem found online
I had been hesitant for four years to tell anyone I was in an abusive relationship. He verbally, mentally, emotionally and financially abused me. The moment he threatened to take my kid away from me was the moment I knew I had to take action. I never knew there were services in town that helped with situations like mine. I had felt trapped and when I had heard about it through a friend who had used the Alliance before, I decided to go down there to see what they could do for me.
The Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance helped me get back on my feet to being me again. They were there to just listen, helped refer me to places to get custody and make sure my child was safe with me. They helped me create a safety plan so that my child and I would have a way to get out if we needed to. The advocate helped me learn about resources for financial support like TANF, food stamps and local places who help with different kinds of assistance I may need.
When you have no one to turn to and people are judging you, it makes it very hard to go somewhere and ask for help. If the Alliance had not been local I would not have gotten the help I needed. I would have never gone to Grants Pass for help.