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Review for Jewish Family Services, Columbus, OH, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

JFS to me, was truly a lifesaver. For 15 years I remained in an abusive marriage. Though I knew I did not deserve the abuse, I always figured I could handle it. I didn't want to break apart a family. Finally, in Dec. of 2009, I decided I had enough. The turning point for me was that I saw the effect it was having on my children. Though yes, I was tough enough to handle the abuse, I saw my children being verbally, emotionally and mentally abused as well. These were my young children in their developing years, forming their personalities and identities. I felt as a Mother, it was my job to protect them. I wasn't doing my job, because I could not protect them from their father.

Within 1 hour of calling JFS, I received a call back from Lisa Carroll. Lisa is the "goddess" of domestic violence. She listened to everything I said, and really understood my situation. She could understand that even though I was being abused, how hard it is to leave the relationship. She explained to me that the average woman leaves 6 to 7 times before they leave for good. She immediately made an appointment for me to see Jan Napier, a licensed clinical social worker at JFS. Within 45 minutes, Jan was able to complete my sentences. She knew exactly of my husbands personality disorder. It meant the world to me that somebody actually understood the hell that I lived in. She counseled me weekly giving me tips how to live in my current situation. ALL the counseling sessions I received were covered by JFS.

After 6 months of counseling, I realized it was time to make my move, I wanted to file for divorce. I knew that my husband would NEVER change, and I didn't want to live the rest of my life like this, nor have him continue to torment my children. Lisa was there for me every step of the way. With no family here in Columbus, her support meant the world to me. She helped me find an attorney, and a place to live. She came with me to every meeting with my attorney and to every court appearance. She obtained funding for me from an anonymous donor to help with my tremendous legal expenses. From the day I first spoke to her in Dec 2009 until I got divorced in 2012, she was at my side. Even when you are being abused, it is so hard to divorce. Had I not had her support, and the financial support of JFS, I would have gone back to my abusive husband. I know it may sound crazy to some, but when you have little money, and no one to at your side you are drawn to go back to your "normal," even abuse.

Life for me today is so much better. I got myself back. I can make my own decisions without having to ask permission. I have gotten in touch with and seen friends of mine that I hadn't seen in 15 years. I no longer have to live in my home in constant fear for me and my children. Are things perfect? No, but I know they will continue to get better. JFS is still at my side helping me. I have gone through some of their job training programs, and I know when I am ready to find a better job, they will be there to help me, For the past 3 years for Chanukah, my children have been blessed with beautiful gifts from anonymous families. Lisa continues to call me to make sure I am doing okay. I still see Jan for counseling and continued support. I know JFS will always be an important part of my life, and I can't thank everyone at the Columbus, OH office enough for all their support and help.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I am so thankful and pleased with all the services I received at JFS, what would I want to change? Nothing

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Role:  Client Served