“CAPSEA believed me and they will believe you. You are not alone and there are people waiting on the other end of the phone who want nothing more than to help you.”
Though Sherrie doesn’t remember the exact moment that she learned about CAPSEA – whether it was a flyer in a shop window or a quiet referral from a friend – the immense gratitude she feels towards the organization has not weathered over the past five years.
Her relationship with CAPSEA began with regular counseling sessions and safety planning to cope with her abusive husband, whom she was still living with at the time. In addition to therapy, her counselor also provided her with the information she needed in case of an emergency.
Sherrie recalls, “Eventually, the situation with my husband escalated to the point where I had to call the police. My next call was to the CAPSEA emergency hotline. My daughter and I left that night and went straight to the CAPSEA shelter.”
She never looked back.
“They walked me through everything. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to have someone there with me -
to know that I wasn’t alone.”
After arriving at CAPSEA’s shelter, the staff quickly and efficiently helped Sherrie obtain a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) from her husband. “They walked me through everything. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to have someone there with me – to know that I wasn’t alone,” Sherrie says of CAPSEA’s aid during the judicial process.
Shortly after obtaining the PFA, Sherrie found a new home for herself and her children. CAPSEA assisted her with the security deposit and the first month of her rent payment. “The night my children and I left my husband, we had nothing but the clothes on our backs. My checkbook was still at our old home and my husband immediately drained all of our accounts. We had to start over,” says Sherrie.
Finally settled into her new home, Sherrie knew the work wasn’t done. She continued to utilize CAPSEA’s counseling services for herself, as well as her children. “My counseling with CAPSEA has given me confidence in myself that I never thought possible. And they provided an outlet for my children to discuss their emotions and experiences without fear,” she says.
In fact, Sherrie’s daughter is currently receiving Trauma Incident Reduction (TIR) Counseling from a member of CAPSEA’s trained staff. CAPSEA is the first agency in the country to provide all five levels of TIR counseling for free.
Sherrie was so grateful for the role that CAPSEA played in changing her life, that when a job opportunity opened up working at their shelter, she jumped at the chance to join the team. “I don’t know that I would be here today if it wasn’t for the wonderful people at CAPSEA, so I am thrilled that I can now help others in a similar way.” In addition to aiding people at the shelter, Sherrie also works with PFAs and the donation coordination.
Beyond becoming a member of the CAPSEA staff, Sherrie’s experience with the organization motivated her to go back to school to become a social worker, in an effort to help other men and women who find themselves in situations similar to her own. “I want to be the kind of resource that the CAPSEA staff has been to me and eventually become a trained counselor.” She will graduate with her degree next spring.
"CAPSEA believed me and they will believe you. You are not alone and there are people waiting on the other end of the phone who want nothing more than to help you."
To anyone in need of CAPSEA’s services who may be hesitant to make the call, Sherrie has the following to say, “I would never try and say that I know exactly how you feel, because every situation is completely unique. But I know how I felt. I was scared and nearly paralyzed by the fear that no one would believe me. CAPSEA believed me and they will believe you. You are not alone and there are people waiting on the other end of the phone who want nothing more than to help you.”
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