I made a phone call 12 years ago that changed my life. After 16 years in an abusive relationship and a call to 911, I found myself in search of assistance beyond what police and courts could offer. Making dozens of phone calls from referral after referral, I finally reached Family Service Agency (FSA) and was able to speak with another domestic-violence survivor, a woman who understood what my children and I had endured and how to best help us.
She and I are certainly not alone in bearing the title “survivor.” The statistics are staggering: One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. That statistic does not include those who are emotionally, verbally or sexually abused. Additionally, 85% of domestic violence victims are women, not to mention all of the millions upon millions of children who are also affected as silent witness to the abuse taking place in their homes.