When I first went to DVIP, I was thankful to have a safe place for my children to sleep.
Diana was abused by her husband for twelve years, and when she got pregnant the physical abuse increased. Diane had worked a job since she was 17 years old, but my husband began to pull me from my family, friends and work. Living in her car was her 7th attempt to get away from him. Diane had no resources or anywhere to go-she called DVIP. Diana spoke to a staff member who did not judge her for the abuse nor thought it was her fault. No one asked why she had not really left before. DVIP reassured her that she was brave. Working with someone who understood what Diana needed to do to survive and take care of her children, lifted a burden. The fear and shame were paralyzing, not knowing how to move forward, not knowing who could help her. DVIP staff listened, believed in her and let her make my own decisions. She felt more resilient and started connecting to a number of programs, all willing to help her get on her feet again. The Crisis Center helped Diana with nutritional food from the pantry and some financial assistance. Abbe Community Health Center provided counseling. RVAP offered advocacy services and support groups. Goodwill helped prepare Diana to go back to work. With the help of DVIP and the other United Way partners, Diana now feels she and her children have a future