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Review for Northwest Family Services, Portland, OR, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

A Story of Hope

While the incidence of domestic violence is always too high, with the stress and isolation of COVID-19, data are showing that reported crimes have increased by over 40 percent.

I work with families who have young children. When a mom experiences domestic violence, her children are affected. Not only are they scared, confused, ashamed, and isolated, they are incredibly insecure and without support, experience long-term physical and emotional effects. They also have a traumatized mom.

One mom I helped has a 3-year-old and 7-year-old. They all suffered domestic violence while living with the father. The children regularly experienced and witnessed verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. Mom made the decision to make a change and advocate for herself and her children. I worked with them to stay in our culturally specific women and children’s shelter, Casa Esperanza. Soon after, Mom was accepted into a low-income apartment. To finally have a place to call home for her children was such an incredible accomplishment.

Mom found a part-time position as a customer service employee which soon became a full-time position. I helped the family enroll in DHS/Employment Related Day Care services so mom could work and pay their rent, bills and other needs. We were also able to assist with basic needs such as rent assistance, food boxes, hygiene products, diapers and wipes, and free internet through Comcast.

The 7-year-old son is in elementary school and the 3-year-old is in child care while mom works. This type of trauma doesn’t usually go away without professional help. We worked to get the kids in mental health therapy to address the trauma.

I continue to work with them as mom and the kids suffer the after effects of living in a home with domestic violence. We expect, because we acted quickly, that a full recovery will occur. It is so rewarding to really help families. It takes time, caring, and resources.

Role:  Volunteer