Aubrey had her own catering business, priding herself in being a strong and hardworking woman. Throughout her career, Aubrey endured years of emotional, psychological, physical, and financial abuse from her husband Michael. He kept her isolated and destroyed her mental health by keeping her under constant stress and anxiety. As she volunteered at their children’s school, she had learned about domestic violence and supportive services. She slowly started to participate in a support group and develop a safety plan while Michael was at work.
One night, Aubrey was getting ready to leave for a catering event when Michael changed his mind about watching their kids. She tried to reason with him, but he just kept yelling at her to shut up. Michael became enraged and threatened Aubrey with his closed fist against her face. Michael’s violence was increasing so she started to actively work on her safety plan. With a safety plan she was able to flee the abuse, Aubrey was forced to make a decision between focusing on her and her children’s safety and wellbeing or keeping her business afloat. A business she worked so hard to establish to support herself and her two little boys.
Aubrey was connected to Human Options through her case manager, who helped her call the hotline. Upon entering the shelter, it was clear how much emotional and psychological abuse she had endured. Every time Aubrey would talk about the abuse or Michael, she would get emotional and cry. When she met with her legal advocate, she was hesitant about filing for a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order (DVTRO). After participating in our shelter, Personal Empowerment Program and counseling, she decided to file for a DVTRO. Aubrey attended a Family Law Clinic to review her declaration. The volunteer attorney reviewed her declaration and provided feedback. From there our Legal Advocacy team helped her file a DVTRO. She obtained the DVTRO and secured a move out order. Aubrey was still extremely nervous about court, especially after not having seen Michael for a long time. Through HO’s Pro Bono Volunteer Program, our Legal Advocacy team successfully linked Aubrey to a family law attorney.
After entering Second Step, she was able to return home. After several months of uncertainty about her housing situation, Aubrey was able to go back home with her children. She continues to receive Legal Advocacy services and her Legal Advocate will be providing court accompaniment for her next Restraining Order hearing. She shared, “my children need me to be strong and I have to show them I can do this”.