Dana is a survivor of domestic violence who transformed her life.
Her journey with Safe Harbor began in the early 2000s, when she entered the emergency shelter due to the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband. Dana was undocumented, but her husband was a citizen of the United States. She later returned to her husband to assist him with his business and attempt to have a happy marriage.
Dana contacted Safe Harbor again years later, this time due to allegations of sexual assault against her husband. For the safety of everyone involved, she was forced to move out of the home they shared and she entered the emergency shelter again.
Dana participated in counseling to help her cope with this traumatic situation. An advocate supported her when she appeared in court to face her husband, but the outcome was very disappointing for her. With support, Dana was able to move beyond the verdict and tried to start a new life for herself.
While living in the emergency shelter, Dana continued to participate in a support group and was able to find employment. She also received pro-bono legal assistance and started her immigration process.
There were many days that Dana became so discouraged that she spiraled into a state of depression. She coped with missing her family, facing financial issues and encountering barriers within the lengthy, inconsistent process of immigration. Dana also struggled with her inability to qualify for housing, because she knew she could not stay in the emergency shelter forever. She received therapeutic treatment for her depression, and the staff, volunteers and other residents at the shelter offered her emotional support.
Dana’s counselor and case manager felt that Safe Harbor’s transitional housing would be a great option for her. The program fee was affordable, and she would continue her ongoing counseling and case management. Dana also received her green card while she was in the transitional program, which made her feel very proud and empowered.
Since Dana’s time with Safe Harbor, she has remarried with a clear understanding of what a healthy relationship should be. Her journey was long and sometimes turbulent, but it was our pleasure to travel with her.
Dana graciously agreed to share her story, but her name has been changed to protect her identity.
Director of Safe Houses