Jun 2, 2015
by Maggie McCann
During a class journaling project, Meredith's oldest daughter wrote about the violence she had seen at home. When her teacher read the journal she became alarmed and immediately called the Department of Child Safety. After a formal investigation, both of Meredith's daughters were removed from the home to ensure their safety. Meredith turned to Emerge! for services.
Meredith had been married to her husband for almost fifteen years and had experienced abuse throughout the marriage. Though, it wasn't until she went to Emerge! for one-on-one support that she realized it was abusive-she hadn't equated hair pulling and intimidation tactics with domestic abuse. In fact, she realized that she had experienced extensive abuse and violence, which was difficult for her to come to terms with. Working with her Emerge! case coordinator, she began to understand that she was not responsible for her husband's choice to be abusive. Nor could she be the one to change him, he had to do that.
Breaking through the fear of surviving on her own, she decided to file for divorce and for custody of her children. The court awarded her child support and the right to stay in her home with her girls. Meredith continues to face her ex-husband in court to fight for her daughters' safety. Although it is frightening to see him there, it helps to have her Emerge! case coordinator by her side in the courtroom for emotional support.
Through all the trauma, Meredith has worked diligently to ensure her daughters are safe and doing well academically. She has also enrolled them in one-on-one support sessions at Emerge! to help them heal from witnessing the abuse and learn the difference between a healthy relationship and one that is abusive. Meredith also volunteers in the community and will be starting her Masters in Economics this fall. Looking back, Meredith feels that she has broken the cycle of abuse by becoming a positive role model for her daughters.