These are stories from survivors of abuse that will inspire and educate others about the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault. It is our hope that survivors will find strength and healing by sharing their story and that these stories will bring hope to others.
Kory is a senior in high school and her mom reached out to Open Arms inquiring about our services. Kory and her mom openly communicate. Kory shares details of her relationship with her mom. Kory has been dating the same guy for a while now and recently told with her mom that she has felt a lot of pressure to participate in sexual activities with her boyfriend.
Our Rape Crisis Case Manager met with Kory to educate her about consent and healthy relationships. Kory continues to stay in touch with her Case Manager to work through the trauma she has experienced and to learn how to maintain a healthy relationship with her boyfriend.
Katie called Open Arms hotline seeking help against her abusive husband. For the past several years, Katie’s husband had been very physically and verbally abusive to Katie and her two kids. Even though Katie had relocated, the abuse continued with her kids when they would visit with their dad. Katie knew she had to protect her kids. Katie requested assistance with a civil protection order.
An Open Arms advocate met Katie at the courthouse and assisted her with the civil protection order paperwork as well as attending court dates with Katie and providing her with additional community resources. The civil protection order was granted, and Katie could not be more relieved that her kids are safe, away from the abuse. Katie told her advocate, “you guys are so amazing! I am so glad I called you.”
Sara reached out to Open Arms due to having been in a very abusive relationship. She had experienced an incident where her husband became very physically abusive. This incident resulted in Sara’s cheekbone being broken, her eye socket damaged, as well as swelling and bruising all over her body. Sara went to the hospital and was admitted for a few days.
Sara’s husband was arrested, and Sara pursued charges against him. Although it was difficult for Sara to pursue charges against her husband, she’s grateful she did. Sara’s husband was sentenced to prison for three years and she and her children finally feel safe, since he’s gone.
Sara recently shared a picture with her Advocate, that was displayed at her daughter’s school. Sara knew that this situation would affect her children, but she didn’t realize how much until she saw this picture that her daughter created.
Megan had filed for divorce from her husband Cory. Megan called Open Arms to schedule supervised visitations through Harmony House for her sons Joey and Patrick to see their dad. During her initial meeting with the Case Manager, Megan described her relationship with Cory as physically and emotionally abusive. According to Megan, Cory had a history of substance abuse. The Court gave Cory the option to have supervised visitations at Harmony House.
Joey and Patrick had not seen their dad in a very long time and were apprehensive at first. The boys warmed up to their dad quickly and were so excited to visit with him. Cory and the boys played games and laughed together during their visits. Unfortunately, Cory began cancelling his visits and failed to attend future visits. A few weeks later, Cory passed away due to a drug overdose.
After Cory’s passing, Megan called Harmony House and thanked us. She was glad that Cory was able to see his sons and have a short relationship with them. Megan was thankful that Harmony House provided a safe place for her sons to build a relationship with their dad.
Heather contacted our crisis hotline a few months ago and inquired about shelter. At that time, Heather decided she wanted to try and work things out with her husband. Fast forward a few months later, we received a call from Heather, and she stated the emotional and physical abuse from her husband had gotten worse and she was ready to leave. That evening Heather and her daughters arrived at shelter.
Over the course of her stay with us, we witnessed a strong woman who was ready to change the path for her and her children’s lives and get out of her situation. Within six weeks, Heather had applied for and received housing assistance, worked on budgeting, and was granted a civil protection order against her husband. Heather accomplished all of this while working full-time and picking up extra shifts whenever she could.
When it came time for Heather and her girls to leave the shelter it was bittersweet. We reassured her we would still be working with her and checking in on her. Not only did we see Heather become strong and independent through her stay with us, but we saw her girls go from quiet and sad to happy bubbly kids. They referred to the shelter as home and left sweet notes for us on the refrigerator the morning they departed. Heather is now in her own home with her girls. She is working full-time and is in the process of filing for divorce from her husband.
Aria lives in Findlay, but while out of town with some friends, she ran into an ex-partner. Aria reported that her ex-partner isolated and sexually assaulted her. After a fight, Aria was able to escape and return to Findlay. Aria went to Blanchard Valley Hospital, where they called Open Arms, asking for an Advocate to respond.
Since meeting with her Advocate at the Hospital, Aria has continued to utilize other services through Open Arms. Aria has petitioned and was granted a Civil Protection Order against her ex-partner. She also reported the crime to Law Enforcement and her ex-partner has been indicted on charges of rape and kidnapping. Aria and her Advocate are actively in touch with the Prosecutor’s Office. Aria also finds that attending Open Arms’ support group has been a great way to cope with her trauma.
Jessica called our hotline and spoke with an advocate. She described a recent violent incident with her boyfriend in which he pushed her against the wall and put his hands around her neck pressing down on her throat. She was able to get away from him to call the police before he grabbed and smashed her phone.
Jessica talked through all the trauma that she had been through with her advocate. Jessica mentioned that she loved her boyfriend but recognized that his verbal and physical abuse was toxic to her and her 3-month-old baby.
Jessica’s advocate assisted her in filing for a civil protection order and provided her with education on domestic violence and the cycle of abuse. Jessica and her son are doing well and living peacefully free from abuse.