Guest post by DCF Child Protective Investigator Angela Brown and Child Protective Investigations Supervisor Julia Johnson in Suwannee County
A mother had been in a very violent relationship for nine years. She had quit fighting back. When her husband found out about the abuse report she filed against him, he told her he was going to kill her.
She told us she was scared and didn’t want DCF involved. But we told her that as bad as the domestic violence is now, it will only get worse if she doesn’t get help. The abuse would continue to break down her self-esteem. She needed to get help to protect herself and her children.
The woman’s mother is her support system and worked with us to encourage her and her children to stay at a domestic violence shelter until it was safe for her to return home. The woman was confused and really didn’t know how to go about saving herself.
A victim’s advocate at the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office help her fill out an injunction against her husband and stood by her side in court. We both gave the woman our phone numbers and encouraged her to call at any time if she needed help.
Now she no longer has to worry about what will happen when her husband comes home from work. Her stomach was no longer in knots. She was living again, for the first time in a long time. She said she had seen the change in her children – they are calmer, happier, laughing more, not as angry and not fighting with each other as much.
The changes in her life are obvious. Her appearance is different – she has confidence, is happy, smiles, talks and laughs. She is working to get her GED … and she has expressed interest in someday becoming a Child Protective Investigator.