This is about a past client, but I hope that all current and future clients of domestic violence have her attitude. She was married to an active duty soldier for several years, and then he retired from the military. He did not handle his transition to civilian life well, and often took stressors out on her. Trying to be a “good wife,” she allowed this behavior to continue. She endured nights of verbal abuse, items being thrown around the house, her items being broken in fits of rage, and the use of their finances to control her.
The final straw for her was the night they got into a verbal argument and he got into her face. She pointed her finger at him and screamed to get out of her face. He pushed her down and she jumped back up “ready to fight.” She reported that she yelled, “You will never touch me again!” which started a bigger verbal argument. She left the house because she feared for her safety. After staying with a friend for a few days, she called Quaker House. We worked on examining past relationships as well as her current marriage (they had all been abusive), while her husband received his own counseling. She did exercises to build her self-esteem, found a job, and began making her own money. After a number of months living apart, they moved back in together, and she continued counseling for several weeks.
She reported that the best parts of Quaker House were that she was able to get in so quickly and that she knew she would be able to come back and “see the same counselor” if she needed help in the future.
By Joanna, Quaker House Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Moral Injury Counselor
Published in our Spring 2019 Newsletter, News from the HomeFront