Survivor Stories

african-american-woman-and-sons-06-publicationGracie

“Because of an extremely physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive relationship, I had to flee the state I called home. For fear of my life and that of my four children, I had to put as much distance between me and my partner as I could. Because I had to leave suddenly, I left behind all the personal belongings I had to my name. I came to Lincoln with one suitcase, no money, no home. I felt scared, confused, and yet determined to build a life for myself and my children; a life that we so greatly deserved.

I went into the shelter at Friendship Home, applied for a housing certificate, and financial aid through the state. It has been two years since I left that life behind me. We are still struggling and putting our lives back together. But, we are a strong family, and once again there is laughter and respect in our home, in our lives. We are making it, but above all we are safe.”

Thank you for everything. Sincerely,
Gracie

Anabel

“I am a 42-year-old mother of one daughter, grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter. I was in a marriage where I suffered extreme emotional and sexual abuse. I made the decision to leave which prompted violent and murderous behavior from my husband. There seemed to be nowhere safe to go, nowhere to turn, no one who understood. I was blessed to find a website that belonged to the Friendship Home. I sent an email and got an immediate response. After a short time I came to live at Friendship Home. Upon my arrival I found the unconditional love and acceptance that gave me the motivation to rebuild my life and allowed me to feel safe and know that I have value. I am free to dream and hope and to believe in myself. I am now gainfully employed and excited about my future. I could never have begun this journey alone. The staff and residents helped me begin and will no doubt continue to walk with me as I seek a resting place of serenity for my soul.”

Darla and Max

“A year has come and gone since I left my son’s father and began my stay at the Friendship Home. The Friendship Home was essential for me and my son to leave an unhealthy and abusive relationship. Through encouragement, friendship, someone to listen, I was inspired by the staff and residents. Even though most of the women who walk in your doors are not at their best… in fact, they are worn down, battered, and discouraged; they are also at their strongest. It takes strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship. It takes strength to leave a home and enter a building with communal living. It takes strength and courage to find ways to make ends meet and provide for the children. And most of all, it takes strength and courage to not go back. I spent hours talking to the Friendship Home staff. I appreciated them listening to what I needed to say and their humor when I needed a laugh. I’m still in contact with a few women I met at Friendship Home. We have our own homes and employment. Our children are happy. I am also glad I attended the weekly support groups. I remember talking about “red flags” in men and qualities in men that we want or need for a potential mate/partner. I want to stay involved with the FH and any fundraising you need. I guess I had better sum this all up…I didn’t count on writing three pages! I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for providing a place for my son and me to stay. Thank you for proving food and diapers. Thank you for listening. Thank you for validating my feelings. Thank you for making me laugh and smile. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for hugs and lots of tissues to dry my eyes. Thank you for helping me finds the strength, courage, faith, hope, and patience that I didn’t know I had. Thank you for helping me find me. The friendship home was more than just a shelter, it was a home.”

Thank You,
Darla and Max

Calli

“My three-year-old daughter and I have lived at Friendship Home for almost a month. My boyfriend physically abused me in February 2001 and took money from me. Staying here has enabled me to keep my job and save money for a new place to live. The staff is helpful, considerate and very willing to provide us with comfort and safety.”

Donna

“I lived with an abuser who drank excessively and would become violent. I became invisible and mute. I did not smile or speak. I was afraid. The Friendship Home opened my eyes and gave me a voice, something I truly believed no longer existed. Now I can see and feel my face again. The Friendship Home provided me with many things that I needed. I felt safe because of the confidentiality that everyone respected. I feel very grateful that the Friendship Home and staff gave me a safe place to live while going through such confusion. It feels so good to be heard and understood.”

Deborah

“I am very thankful that the Friendship Home exists. Without it, I’d probably still be in an abusive relationship or dead somewhere. Being at the Friendship Home made me realize I am a person that doesn’t deserve to be abused or controlled. The support groups helped me realize this because I was able to be around other women who’ve experienced the same things. The Friendship Home is a place every woman needs to know about. Without it, many of us would be lost or dead.”

Crystal

“I was married to my abuser for three years and was unable to work or think for myself. I came to the Friendship Home with my three-year-old almost a year ago. I received a lot of support from the Friendship Home. I realized I could do things for myself and I was worth something. I can now say and believe I am an independent woman who can do anything I set my mind to.”