Sheila, a young, scared mother of three, showed up at the door of Children's Inn early one evening with her sister. Her sister told our advocate that for years, Sheila's family had been trying to help her see that the relationship with her husband was not healthy or safe for her or the children. More than once, Sheila and her sister had come to Children's Inn in the past and talked with an advocate about staying and getting counseling, but each time, Sheila changed her mind and told her sister she wanted to try to work things out with her husband. And each time, the cycle of abuse would continue.
On this night, Sheila's sister hoped it would be different. The last assault by Sheila's husband left her with a swollen shut eye and marks around her neck from being strangled. For the first time, Sheila admitted she was scared and didn't want to be with him anymore. With the encouragement of our advocate and her sister, Sheila came into shelter with her children.
Over the next few weeks, Sheila’s confidence that she could be a good mom and be independent from her abuser grew, but doubt would also seep in at times. Children's Inn staff spent many hours providing Sheila with someone to listen to her and support her. Day by day, Sheila appeared stronger and more determined to stay the course.
After almost eight weeks at Children's Inn, Sheila found an apartment that would be a great new home for her family. Though still apprehensive and anxious about doing this on her own, Sheila wanted to make her family proud and felt that after her time at Children's Inn, she had the tools she needed to do just that. On Sheila's last day in shelter, Sheila's sister told staff that she was so proud of her sister and had never seen her so happy. In tears, she thanked us for giving her sister a new lease on life.