Learning to Trust
19-year-old Pamela arrived at the Family Justice Center not really knowing what to do or what to expect. She was timid and afraid. When she arrived, she wore a scarf completely wrapped around her face. She was hesitant to talk and was almost in denial about her situation. One of the things she did want to be sure of was that the counselor didn’t know her abuser and that her location would not get back to him. She visited with the case manager for a while but still didn’t completely open up. However, by the end of the visit, she did reveal she felt she was a victim of domestic violence. She left that day, telling her case manager she would return.
A week later, she did. She opened up and told the case manager that because of the first visit where she was made to feel comfortable, not judged, and cared for, she trusted her enough to come back and tell her story. Pamela endured years of sexual and physical abuse, and was forced to prostitute. After receiving the appropriate information for services and community resources, she felt she could tell her family about what she had been through. As she left that visit, she told the case manager, “God bless you and thanks for being a blessing to me and others.”
Two weeks later, Pamela called to tell the case manager that she had relocated to her mother’s home out of state and was ready to take the next step in getting her life back.