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Survivor Story: Ellie

Thirty-six year old Ellie endured a traumatic three-year relationship with the father of her youngest child. Ellie experienced brutal physical and verbal abuse along with the destruction of her property from time to time. Ellie and her children were able to escape and ready to transition into the next step for safety. Ellie and her four children came to Second Step in hopes to create stability and safety for her and her children.

When Ellie started Second Step, she was on medical leave from her job as a case manager at a medical company. Her disability resulted from her relationship. Shortly after starting the Second Step program, Ellie had to testify against her aggressor, which increased her distress and anxiety. Through the services available to her through the Second Step program, Ellie began individual therapy to work on the trauma she had suffered from her ex-partner.

Ellie attended almost all the groups offered at Second Step. While she was gaining education on financial literacy, job readiness, tenant education rights, and therapeutic groups, her children were attending the therapeutic children’s program. All of her children learned how to express their emotions in a nonviolent manner. Ellie’s resilience to get the support she needed allowed her to stay focused on her goal of creating stability and safety from her ex-partner for her children. Ellie and her four children transitioned to Third Step and shortly after was offered an affordable housing opportunity through Families Forward.

“If it were not for the services, groups, and time provided by Human Options, I might have still been in that dark and dangerous relationship. Now my children have a chance towards a better well-being and life.” – Ellie, Survivor

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