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Finding a New Normal: A survivor of domestic violence tells her story of new beginnings at Karen's House

For me, the word “normality” means all the good things in my life before the abusive relationship. Before, I was happy with my life and who I was as a person. I knew I had flaws, but overall, I was happy with myself. When I entered an unhealthy relationship, I lost my persona and became what I thought he wanted me to be. I tried to leave the relationship about six times before, but I always went back. I realize now that leaving that life for good was the best decision I had made in a long time.

When I arrived at Karen’s House, I was an emotional wreck. I was so sad and upset that I allowed myself to be in a situation that was very harmful, emotionally and physically.

I started to heal and work on becoming strong at my own pace. I didn’t have this fog in front of me anymore, and I could see clearly. I was able to have time, patience, and most importantly, I felt safe.

Karen’s House staff were encouraging and supportive. I always had someone to talk to, and communication was vital for my healing. I learned to take care of myself; once I started feeling better about myself and was in a caring and safe environment, I was more motivated.

When I was ready to start looking for employment, I felt empowered to manage the process. It was difficult searching for a job in a Pandemic. I did have some emotional setbacks, and some very disappointing moments. But I realized that these were just moments. They didn’t define my life.

After months and months, I finally got a call from a temp agency for employment in October. A week after starting at this organization, I was offered and accepted a better job opportunity.

I’ve learned that even through the hardest setbacks, you can’t give up. You need to keep moving forward, not backward.

Did You Know?
On average, it takes a domestic violence victim seven times to leave before breaking free for good. There are many reasons it can be hard to leave. Some of these are low self-worth, financial obligations, concerns for children, religious beliefs, fear of retaliation, or even hope that the violence will cease.

It can be heartbreaking to watch a loved one return to an abusive relationship, but it is important to continue to believe and support them. Survivors with a robust support system have better outcomes and are more likely to eventually break free. If you need help navigating how to support a loved one experiencing domestic violence, please give us a call on our hotline, 559-732-5941.

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Thank you to our generous sponsors.

  • The Sence Foundation
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    First 5 Tulare County
  • The Law Office of Afreen A. Kaelble
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