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Survivor Story: Cindy

When Cindy married her husband at age 19, she would have never imagined what the next 50 years with her husband would be like. Her husband would call her names, threaten her with weapons, and demean her in front of friends and family. Growing up in a strong Catholic family, Cindy did not believe in divorce. Cindy married with the intent to be “a good wife and mother”, but did not understand it meant she had to endure her husband’s behavior and abuse….til’ death do they part?

Cindy is 69 years old, scared, alone, and living in darkness. She attempted to get help once 15 years ago when she called the police, but instead of getting the help and support she needed, her daughter refused to believe her and would not let her grandchildren come over to visit anymore. From that experience Cindy learned not to tell anyone what was really going on behind closed doors. But over time, neighbors kept calling and reporting her husband’s behavior to the police and Adult Protective Services.

Finally after numerous reports  and visits from socials workers , Cindy decided to attend a Senior Empowerment Group from our Safe Options for Seniors Program. Cindy figured it would be a good opportunity to leave the house for a few hours every week . She listened to a group of her peers explain the abuse they experienced and could relate. She slowly began opening up and sharing what she had been going through. She received feedback from group members telling her she did not need to live the way she was. After attending several sessions, Cindy finally admitted she did not want be in her abusive marriage anymore and was ready to get a divorce. She was supported by her peers in the group who gave her many words of encouragement and practical advice. Through support and the various services available to her Cindy was able to change her story. 

Cindy is 69 years old, strong, resilient, and finally moving forward with her divorce and has not looked back since making the decision to leave. She credits her decision to the education and support from the groups she attended at Human Options.

“Thank you to Human Options for helping me to heal and learn how to live again. ” – Cindy, Mother & Survivor


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