Kelly felt trapped, scared and totally alone. She was in a relationship that, from the outside, looked to be perfect. Others at work often commented how lucky she was to be in a relationship with the handsome, young executive at the company. But looks can be deceiving.
At first it seemed like a fairy tale relationship – he swept her off her feet and made her feel like the center of the universe. But he slowly began to isolate her over time. He pressured her to move in with him and then held both her job security and her housing over her head. When she tried to leave, he’d pursue her and threaten her with violence if she didn’t return. Kelly was trapped in her own private prison and nobody around her knew what she was going through.
“I didn’t have anybody who could understand what he was doing to me,“ Kelly explains. “I was suffering in silence and I didn’t know how to get out.” Thankfully, she took the courageous step to leave her job, her home and abusive partner and picked up the pieces of her life far away from him. At the time, she didn’t know that there were organizations like Human Options available to walk with her on her journey to healing.
Today, Kelly is worlds away from the young woman who thought she was powerless. She is now married to an amazing man and they have built a joy-filled life. As a result of her experience, Kelly found her passion – walking with other women as they try to emerge from their own abusive relationships.
Every week, Kelly volunteers on our Human Options crisis hotline. She is the first voice many victims of relationship violence hear when they call for help. Little do they know just how deeply Kelly can empathize with what they’re going through. And she provides more than a listening ear. She now realizes just how many resources are available through Human Options for people who are experiencing trauma, from a safe place to stay to legal advocacy and trained counselors to help them navigate the days and weeks ahead. Kelly loves helping survivors recognize that they have options.
In addition to volunteering with our hotline, Kelly also plays a large part in our fundraising efforts during the holidays, which have led to improvements and renovations for the shelters that serve survivors and their children. This time of year can often be challenging for the families we serve, both financially and emotionally and Kelly’s efforts help ensure they are well cared for.
“The reason I love what I do is because I know what the person on the other side of the phone is going through,” Kelly explains. “I am so grateful that I have resources I can point them to. If I’d had those resources when I was going through my own trials, I wouldn’t have felt as hopeless and I wouldn’t have suffered as long as I did. But now, I get to help others like me. I get to give them options, and that gives them hope.”
Take it from Kelly, “if you feel trapped, know that you are not as alone or powerless as you may think. We are here to walk with you and provide you with the resources to help you build a safer, healthier life for you and your children. Please don’t suffer alone.”
You can contact Human Options’ 24-hour crisis hotline at 877-854-3594. We’re here to help. If you’re interested in extending hope for survivors through volunteering, visit our website at humanoptions.org/get-involved/.