14 Jun Laura’s Story
Posted at 21:22h in Success Stories
Many years ago, “Laura” came to the Outreach Program to request a Temporary Protective Order against her husband. Laura worked for the City of Savannah and had three beautiful little boys, ages 7, 9 and 12. Her husband was physically abusive, but the worst part, she said, was the constant verbal abuse. And he always yelled and called her names in front of the children.
The first time I met her, Laura was very shy and rarely made eye contact. The counselor at her youngest sons’ elementary school had been calling her about his withdrawn behavior. When I met Tommy, his mother told me about his problems at school. He was so little and he just kept his head down. I made a deal with him, sealed with a pinkie swear, that he would call me every afternoon after school and tell me about his day. Soon we fell into a routine and if I missed a call, he’d fuss at me the next day!
Her TPO was completed and her husband was court ordered out of their home. He was also ordered to pay child support, something he never complied with. About a year later, with the help of an attorney who did pro bono work for the shelter, Laura was granted a divorce.
We found a family counselor, who through a grant could see Laura and the boys at no charge. They continued their sessions for over a year. Over the years, Laura and I stayed in touch and occasionally, I would see her at our annual candlelight vigil.
She called me the other day and wanted to share her good news. In the years following the divorce, she went back to school and had just received her Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. She is already planning on continuing to earn her MBA. Tommy, her shy, withdrawn son, is now in high school and is in ROTC. She said he is growing into an amazing young man and his confidence shows in the way he holds his head high and looks everyone directly in the eye when speaking to them. The two older boys are attending Savannah State University on the HOPE Scholarship.