|You’re too dumb to go to college.
Your dreams don’t matter.
You don’t matter.
It’s hard to imagine hearing these words from someone you love. But words like these are often an everyday reality for people impacted by family violence.
With your support, she overcame years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse to achieve her dream.
LaVerne is deeply committed to helping others overcome domestic violence. Find her podcast, ExPOSED on Google, Spotify and Apple. Visit laverneletstalk.com for more information.
They met in high school. LaVerne was pretty and shy. He was cute and outgoing. She felt special when he asked her out. He was confident, self-assured and had big dreams for the future. Their future.
Over time, her high school sweetheart began to change. He grew impatient and jealous and began isolating LaVerne from her family and friends. He chipped away at her self-esteem and became violent during disagreements.
LaVerne’s life followed a heartbreaking pattern over the next several years: He would hurt her, then apologize and promise to get help. His sincerity was convincing and the situation would improve briefly. Then the cycle would repeat. Again and again.
Years passed. LaVerne’s life revolved around caring for their children and trying to avoid her partner’s abuse. Eventually, LaVerne worked up the courage to call Sojourner’s 24-hour hotline to ask for help. An Advocate listened carefully and helped LaVerne plan her escape. Together, they made a plan that helped her decide the safest way to leave. When the time was right, she took her children and fled to Sojourner’s emergency shelter.
“Sojourner’s staff met us with warmth, love and understanding,” says LaVerne. “They made us feel welcome and didn’t judge us. I went into the shelter hopeless and left hopeful.”
With Sojourner’s support, LaVerne moved out of the shelter and into her own home. She focused on helping her children adjust to their new lives and worked hard to heal from years of trauma. Eventually, she began planning for her future.
LaVerne dreamed of going back to school and getting a better-paying job. Today, nearly 15 years after her initial contact with Sojourner, LaVerne is a college graduate working in finance. She is a public speaker and author of Overcoming the Darkness: Surviving Domestic Violence. She also is a founding member of VOICES, a Sojourner advisory committee comprised of family violence survivors. She is deeply committed to helping others overcome domestic violence and believe in the power of their dreams.
“Leaving is the first step; however, life after abuse is a continuous, daily effort to be a better, healthier me,” says LaVerne. “Sojourner understands that. So their assistance doesn’t end after you’re out of danger.”
You can help survivors like LaVerne find safety and healing
Sojourner has been a pillar of peace for more than 40 years. We were there for LaVerne during her journey to find safety and healing and we continue to be here as she achieves her hopes and dreams.
By making a gift today, you provide lifesaving resources that give survivors safety and stability needed to rebuild their dreams.
Thank you for your donation!