Kelly came to shelter feeling as if she was just a shell of her former self. Before meeting her husband Tony, she had laughed easily, spoke freely and enjoyed close relationships with friends and family. After meeting and marrying Tony, and as his abuse escalated into physical violence, there was no joy, just fear; no open communication, just coerced agreement; and her sense of isolation was all-consuming, leaving Kelly feeling utterly alone. Then, one day, everything changed … The stick turned blue.
The pregnancy was unexpected but Kelly very much wanted her baby. Pressed by the reality that her pregnancy would soon show, and Tony would be dangerously irate because he didn’t want children, she searched the Internet for help. She found Hubbard House, called the Domestic Violence Hotline, and with the help of her victim advocate, created a plan to come into shelter, safely. When the day of escape came, she acted as if it were any other day, but it wasn’t: It was the first day of her brand-new beginning.
In shelter, Kelly received the services she needed. Counseling and survivor support groups helped alleviate the isolation and assisted her in identifying the domestic violence she’d suffered. She also received legal help and obtained an Injunction for Protection, and a career coach helped her to figure out how to talk to her employer, who proved to be a valuable ally. Ultimately, Kelly had to use a variety of techniques to find freedom, like changing her work hours and finding a new place to live, but it was all worth it when her daughter was born, a healthy, naturally happy 7.5-pound blue-eyed baby girl.
Today, the two live free of violence and full of hope in the Jacksonville area.