Lisa lived in a violent marriage for years. Her husband was emotionally and verbally abusive—often calling Lisa names, criticizing her and flying into fits of anger if he felt disrespected. He kept Lisa isolated from her family and friends and didn’t allow her contact with people outside of the home that he did not approve of. He frequently broke things around the house or punched holes in the walls. “He wanted me to know that it could be me next,” said Lisa. She could see the abuse starting to have an impact on her children and wasn’t sure where to turn.
When the abuse escalated to physical violence, a friend urged Lisa to call the police. When her husband was arrested for domestic battery, the police officer recommended that Lisa call Family Shelter Service, a United Way partner agency serving victims of domestic violence. Family Shelter Service helped Lisa to obtain an emergency order of protection and a plenary order of protection against her husband. Lisa also enrolled in Family Shelter Service’s counseling program where she was able to share her experiences, learn from the experiences of other women, and set new goals for herself and her children. Lisa’s children also joined a support group for youth where they were able to discuss what they had witnessed in their home and learn alternatives to violent behavior.
Lisa finally feels safe. She was able to regain her con dence and was recently remarried to a man who she says is supportive and kind. Lisa now works to prevent domestic violence by sharing her story with other women and educating youth about how to identify unhealthy relationship behaviors. She credits Family Shelter Service and United Way with helping her to take the steps to change her life.
Lisa’s story — and thousands more like it — changed because of people like you.
Through proven strategies and quality programs, United Way measurably improves lives for individuals, families and entire neighborhoods across the region. Join us and change the story for those in need in greater Chicago.