Leala had endured severe physical, verbal and emotional attacks from her husband throughout the 3 years of their marriage. He called her names in front of the children and tried to turn them against her. So the kids were suffering too.
Although she had been too afraid to call the police, Leala and her kids had escaped to a shelter 3 times. They had stayed for six weeks, for a month, and finally for a few days when Leala found out that her husband had a long criminal record and had even spent time in jail.
That was her breaking point. Leala knew that they could never return home and her husband would hurt them if he found them. So she asked that she and her 8 year old daughter and 12 year old son be transferred to the Red Door Shelter and they fled again, leaving her husband behind in their home town.
Can you imagine how hard it must have been for Leala, knowing that she had to start a completely new life if she wanted to keep her kids safe? It was a brave decision, but once at the Red Door the stress began to take a toll on her health.
Alone in a new city with no home, no job and 2 children to care for, Leala had trouble sleeping and started to experience panic attacks. Although it wasn’t easy, Leala was determined to persevere and thanks to generous donors who support the Red Door Shelter, we were right by her side helping her to achieve her goals.
Red Door staff helped Leala to access counseling from a psychiatrist and Child and Family Therapist. The children were registered at school and Leala was supported with her resume writing and job search. She was keen to start working and become self-sufficient. When the time was right, a Red Door Housing Worker helped Leala to find an affordable apartment for her family.
If you could see Leala now, you would be amazed!
Today, Leala and her kids are settled in their new home. Leala is working as a part-time teaching assistant and the children are doing well in school. It’s still hard at times, but Leala knows she can rely on the Red Door Shelter. Her Outreach Worker checks in regularly and she uses the Red Door food bank when money is tight.
“I am so happy to be safe and settled with my kids. I feel like I am finally spreading my wings and flying high slowly."
No-one should have to live with abuse or struggle alone to build a life after abuse. Your support enables moms like Leala to soar, free from abuse, towards a bright future.
Learn more about how you can help women like Leala.