14 Jun Marla’s Story
Posted at 21:30h in Success Stories
“Marla” and her two sons, ages 12 and 14, came to SAFE Shelter six years ago. Marla and her husband were both university professors from South Africa. Along with the verbal, physical and emotional abuse, Marla’s husband was threatening to take their sons back to his village and she would never see them again.
The SAFE Shelter Outreach Program assisted Marla with a court order and found an attorney who provided the legal services to secure a divorce and to assist with immigration issues. Grant funds were secured to pay the attorney’s fees. The process was hindered by Marla’s husband, who fought her for custody every step of the way. He managed to drag the divorce proceedings out for almost two years.
The family lived in SAFE Shelter for three months, and then participated in the shelter’s Follow-up/Aftercare Program. Even though her court order prohibited her husband from coming near her, Marla lived in constant fear.
With the help of the shelter’s case manager, Marla applied for and was approved to receive a Sunshine Lady Grant which enabled her to attend Armstrong Atlantic University. The boys thrived in their new home and excelled in school. Marla was accepted into the Nursing Program at Armstrong and managed to not only work two jobs, raise her sons, but earn honors in her studies.
Today, Marla is a Registered Nurse at one of the local hospitals. The oldest son
has been accepted at Brown University on full scholarship and the youngest is going to the University of California, Los Angeles, on a soccer scholarship. The boys are tall, handsome young men who watched their mother struggle and succeed. And Marla finally has the peace in her life that at one time was only a dream.