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Andi’s Story

For years, Andi endured unimaginable abuse at the hands of her ex-husband, Carl, encompassing physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual trauma. Despite the horrific experiences, Andi refused to be defined by her past, wanting to break the cycle and embarking on a journey of healing and empowerment. Having previously entered our shelter and completed our services, Andi continued her healing journey and independence. However, when Carl reentered their lives after three years of absence, the peace Andi had painstakingly built was shattered. Despite her reservations, Andi allowed Carl to visit their daughters, only to witness Sophia, their middle daughter, exhibiting concerning behavioral issues soon after, acting out and not following rules at home. As the situation escalated, Carl started threatening Andi to file for full legal custody of Sophia and take her away from Andi. That’s when she needed to get help.

Turning to Human Options once again, she found solace and guidance in our services. Meeting with a Legal Advocate at the CHEC Family Resource Center, Andi found herself facing a tight deadline to respond to Carl’s custody request. Attending a Family Law Clinic later that day, she received invaluable assistance from pro bono attorneys who helped draft her response and declaration. Andi found unwavering support as the Legal Advocate helped facilitate her remote court mediation appointment. Grateful for the guidance, she was also introduced to the U-Visa process, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the turmoil. Through the Immigration Clinic, Andi learned she qualified for a U-Visa, offering both legal status and protection. 

With the support of our partners at Community Legal Aid, Andi’s certification request for the U-Visa was submitted, offering a pathway to safety and security. Accompanied by our Legal Advocate, Andi navigated her custody hearing with newfound courage, feeling heard and empowered to advocate for herself and her daughters. Through it all, Andi’s resilience and determination shine brightly, a testament to her unwavering commitment to creating a better future for herself and her children. With the U-Visa application underway and hopeful resolution of the custody case on the horizon, Andi stands tall, embodying the spirit of a resilient woman who does whatever it takes to break the cycle for her daughters.


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1. What inspired you to volunteer with Human Options? My mother is my greatest inspiration. As a young woman she was married to a violent man, but found the courage

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