My name is Amy, and for the last past ten months I have received assistance from DVAC. I was initially referred by VCM when I first filed my TRO complaint. This has definitely been a journey, and from last year (2014), to now, I don’t know what I would have done without the help of Jane.
I was assisted by both Lisa and Jane. Lisa was the one whom I spoke with initially, but my interactions were pretty much all with Jane after that. I wish I could find more than one way to say it, but Jane has been the most helpful, supportive, understanding, kind, knowledgeable (in her field) and resourceful person in this whole journey.
I’ve never been to a courthouse before this all started: ever. I was so terrified every time I had to be there. Jane supported me by showing me breathing techniques, helping me to be mentally prepared, logically talking things through to keep things in perspective, or even showing up early so that we could walk into the courthouse together before the opposing party showed up. Her moral support was a priceless reassurance in such an intimidating environment.
The first time I sat with Jane, we filled out a “wheel of abuse,” and that was one of the most helpful things I’ve ever done. You can’t fix a problem until it’s been identified. There is nothing like feeling terrible and hurt and people are telling you it’s not a big deal. Or you’ve gotten used to it, and have resigned yourself to believing that’s how you’re meant to be treated (thinking it’s normal). By helping to sort out and identify things that are not okay, she really put things into the right perspective. Not victimizing, but allowing me to establish (create my own) boundaries within what is okay and what is not. What is safe, and what isn’t. What should be thought through.
She also provided tools (books, articles, information, etc…) for me to set me up for success and to be able to receive help from other resources I had not known about before. I have been fortunate to work at an establishment that understands my situation. But if I had not, Julie had provided (and went over with) me a copy of Act 207. She also gifted a book written by Lundy Bancroft. That was the most helpful book I’ve read thus far. Through Jane, my children and I were able to enjoy a few months of membership to the Kroc center through PINS. It was something that was much needed, as paying for a lawyer was quite expensive, and I had received no financial help from my husband for our children. She also assisted in providing Christmas gifts for the children and I this past year though Helping Hands. It came as welcomed gift as money was tight, and I wasn’t able to buy anything really nice. I even had to return the gift that I had initially purchased, so when we received the gift card, I was really just so grateful. The children had so much fun picking out their gifts, and even had enough for some items they needed for school.
Abuse doesn’t happen overnight (usually). For me, the control just kind of crept up and after so many years. And when you find yourself in the middle of it, it’s usually hard to get out of. Standing up for yourself can be really difficult, and I am so grateful to the DVAC team. They are truly the best. They’re an amazing team that assists and really just helps pick you up, and ultimately prepare you to out there and take on life again. I have grown so much with Jane. She has helped me mentally, emotionally, and financially more than I’d ever thought possible. If I could give her a rating of 1-10, it would be 20. Her help has been absolutely priceless.