When my boyfriend became physically abusive, I knew I had to get out. I confided in my best friend, and he became part of my safety plan. He encouraged me to leave and offered me a place to stay. After a particularly bad fight one night, I took him up on his offer and moved in.
I was there less than a week when I woke up to him raping me in the middle of the night. I didn’t know what to do. This had been the one place I felt safe to go. Not only was I now living with my so-called friend, but I worked with him, too.
He violated my trust. He violated my body.
The next morning, I was in the parking lot at Shelter House waiting when the first employee arrived. That day marked the beginning of a long journey of healing.
Over the next several months, I worked with the staff at Shelter House, receiving counseling for domestic violence and sexual violence. They helped me work through my next steps. I waited for my “friend” to go to work then went back to pack my bags and moved in with a girlfriend. I quit my job so I wouldn’t have to see him every day.
After more than two years, I am finally starting to feel like myself again and even volunteer with Shelter House. They helped me when I needed it most.