Her marriage was marked by more than a decade of hitting, chokeholds and surveillance of her every move.
Dani summoned the courage to leave and she found refuge at the YWCA emergency shelter with her two children. Her advocate talked frankly with her about her abuser’s use of control. Dani felt relief from the daily fear. But there were worries about money and raising kids on her own. As days went on, he seemed to have softened. Hopeful, she decided to give it one more try.
Going back proved horrific. Within days, her husband beat her severely. As soon as she could, she fled with her children to a friend’s home to hide safely, this time for good.
But Dani’s abuser was not going to let her go: he had put a GPS device in her car and installed a tracking app on her cell phone. He stalked Dani at all hours until he found her at her friend’s home alone, then attacked. Dani pressed the speed dial on her phone. It dropped as she fought back, but her frantic screams told her friend to call 9-1-1.
When police arrived, Dani’s abuser was clutching her throat to strangle her. Even with greater physical size, the officer struggled to subdue the assault.
This near-death experience demonstrated the reality and extreme danger of the relationship. She came to the YWCA emergency shelter and committed to planning a new life. Her advocate reassured Dani and connected her to healing resources that included trauma counseling. Dani’s children kept up with homework and grew in their study habits in the YWCA’s onsite after school program. Dani herself never skipped a beat at her job. And a budget she prepared with the help of her advocate grew her confidence about a future on her own. Together with her advocate, Dani was able to find an affordable apartment. Says Dani’s advocate,
“She has transformed dramatically since the first time I met her. She now walks with confidence and with a new purpose awakened in her.”
Dani enjoys her new life and approaches her job with renewed energy. She and her children are thriving in peace.