YWCA Clark County has impacted and changed my family’s lives in ways I never knew possible. I considered myself a confident, educated woman with a bright future. After a whirlwind romance, at 21 years old, I married a ‘charmer,’ life-of-the-party, jovial, humorous and handsome man. Married life had extreme highs and devastating lows. It didn’t make sense. Fourteen years, seven investment homes, and three beautiful little kiddos deep, our married relationship was as volatile as ever. I could see the effects in my kids eyes. We were all hurting. We were all confused.
Five years ago, I walked through the doors of YWCA a shell of who I am today. I was desperate for help, answers, and to be heard and understood. YWCA provided me with what I consider my guardian angel. They introduced me to Margo, who provided compassion, comfort, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a safe place to unleash and most important of all—education.
I craved to know the reason, to be validated, encouraged and brought up from the deep hole I’d been living in. With Margo’s unconditional support, we were able to slowly put the pieces of my life’s puzzle together…things began to click. I was finally able to see I was living a life of verbal, emotional and on occasion, even physical abuse.
I was terrified to leave my marriage. As you can imagine, nothing was easy about the process. Restraining orders broken, attorney bills galore, court date after court date trying to protect my kids to no avail. Miraculously, YWCA even connected me with a volunteer advisory attorney after my legal battle had cost me over $100,000 and I was left with nothing and on food stamps. My attorney has volunteered countless hours to my court case, not only working towards protecting my children, but also for justice in our broken system. It has been a grueling five years, my story isn’t over; our journey is still in process.
Working with YWCA has provided me with an insurmountable amount of support, education, empowerment and all at no cost to me. I am standing on my own two feet, a single mother of three amazing strong kids, teaching music part-time, using our story to help encourage others, making changes to our system and hoping to even pursue work in advocacy so that I may one day do for others, what Margo did for me.
With the guidance of YWCA, I can say, with confidence, I am me again.
Janine’s story is not uncommon. Thousands of people find hope and possibility at YWCA Clark County. Some utilize the support groups, others work better with 1:1 advocacy, and still others may need more specific assistance such as temporary shelter. Each person has a unique set of needs, and our empowerment model of service ensures that individuals and families are getting what they need to meet their specific goals. The result is a neighbor, friend, and community member who comes to recognize and celebrate their own identity, and whose burden of survival transitions to a story of success and happiness.
We need your continued support today to sustain the empowering services of YWCA Clark County. Please give today.