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SURVIVOR STORIES

Flower in Hand

“I can honestly say that my daughter and I would never have gotten through the impacts of child sexual without the Advocate’s support.  She has validated every feeling, supported every decision, and always made me feel heard.  My Advocate has been my only outlet, my primary beacon of support since day one.  Yes, we have an amazing group of friends and family that support us, but Deborah has been different.  Most of my friends and family have never been touched by sexual assault and aren't really sure what to say and do.  Many want to give me advice on moving forward, not always knowing that they're being condescending while their hearts are in the right place. Working with an Advocate from Hope Project at ESS has given me the space and freedom to feel everything and she never once judged me, belittled me, or tried to change my mind. I often feel so relaxed and calm after our talks.  COVID has been a difficult thing to navigate for our family.  My daughter wasn't able to get therapy for a while and the isolation really had a negative impact on her PTSD and depression.  Our Advocate started talking to her 2 or 3 times a week to make sure my daughter had a good outlet for everything she was feeling.  She has always gone above and beyond.  I thank your organization so much for the help you have given us.  My daughter and I will forever be grateful.”

“The support, encouragement, resources, and scholarship that I received through ESS has provided me the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a children’s therapist. Growing up in the circumstances I did, I never imagined I would attend college. The joy and excitement I feel being able to enroll myself into courses and work towards providing myself a valuable education and career is inexplicable. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your time, consideration, and generosity. You have helped me take the first steps towards preparing for my future successes.”

Lending a Helping Hand
Girl with Flower

“The advocacy I receive from The Emergency Support Shelter staff and Hope Project encourages me very much. They help to keep me a thriving trauma survivor when it seems I have little to no one else professionally and expert-wise here local that can help me to keep on going emotionally and mentally while my youngest daughter is still suffering horrid abuse. The way that these advocates trust and believe me and offer support to what seems as though it is a broken mess that socially, civilly, and judicially doesn’t make sense and is filled with horrors no sane person would wish even on their worst enemy.  The Advocates made me feel that it does matter that my and my children’s rights had been stomped on.  Their honest commitment as advocates brings me joy and encouragement. They give me peace in ways that as a mother who has doubted that there are any good people left in the world, because of their work as advocates of these agencies I can trust that there truly is.

My journey as a client of The Emergency Support Shelter started in 2016 as a broken wreckage. On a day in the summer of 2016 when I was emotionally and mentally tortured to the point, I was bent over a bed not strong enough to lift myself back up. That day will forever be profoundly in my long-term memory. I made a call to ESS and I spoke with an advocate over the phone and what took place during the call and after has forever changed mine and my family's lives for the better. From that brave moment, The Emergency Support Shelter has never let me go without support. It took a lot of abuse for a long time for me to even think of making a call out to a women’s crisis line, and when I did it I had no idea what would happen other than maybe a conversation. That line has saved my life and helped make me the person I am today.”