Stories of Survival
“A phone call to the Oasis shelter 17 years ago helped me make the decision to leave an abusive relationship. I called because I had discovered bruises on one of my 2 year old twin girls’ thigh. I questioned her father – my husband at the time – if he had seen the bruise he left on her. His comment, “You would have a bruise if you had been hit twenty times.” I asked him, “How many times did you hit my baby?” He had no answer and went off to work. I panicked because the children had been at daycare and I knew they were obligated to report any suspected abuse, hence, my call to the shelter for advice.
I was advised to think about losing all six children if the daycare provider reported the bruises seen on my daughter’s thigh. I was torn because we had been married for 10 years and had 6 children. How was I to raise these children alone? Would the repercussions of leaving him be violent or even more damaging? He was a very controlling individual who would not let me work or visit with friends. I had just taken a position with the Americorps Vista program and had already suffered his verbally and emotionally abusive behavior due to this decision.
After agonizing over the decision, I went into the shelter with my daughter where pictures of her thigh were taken. This started an investigation by CPS and the prosecuting attorney. My oldest daughter also had a handprint bruise on her bottom from a spanking by her father. Realizing he was turning his abusive nature toward the children, I knew I needed to leave him.
I stayed in contact with Oasis and attended group activities and began individual counseling by one of the group facilitators. It was through these supports that I was able to stay strong throughout the divorce process. My children even seemed to be more relaxed without the presence of their father.
Seventeen years later, I am thankful for the support early in the process from Oasis staff. My children have grown into successful young adults who are against any sort of physical discipline. My youngest daughter has often reminded me that we have beat all the odds set against us – poverty and a single parent. My oldest son is an instructor with the Air Force, one daughter served five years in the Marines, the youngest son attends Michigan Tech and the twins attend GVSU. My oldest daughter is successful in her own right as a forever 8 year old in a group home.” –Joani
“Thanks to OASIS/FRC and their services, I was able to leave my abuser 16 years ago. I was able to stop the cycle of abuse in my family, and my children have grown up to be successful members of their community. Thank you OASIS/FRC for helping me be free from abuse for 16 years.”—-Anonymous.
“My family was able to stay at the OASIS/FRC shelter while I was escaping my abuser. The shelter gave us a safe place to live, with free clothes, food, and any thing we needed! They even had a hairdresser come and pamper us! Thanks to the shelter staff I was able to see the extent of the abuse I was experiencing, I did not realize some of the things he was doing was considered abuse. My family owes our safety to the OASIS/FRC shelter and staff, thank you thank you thank you!”—Anonymous
“It took me a long time to leave my abuser. I never thought I could do it. My friend told me about OASIS/FRC and one day I decided to call. Their support gave me the courage needed to leave my abuser and start a new life. They were understanding and offered me many free services I was able to use to help me and my family overcome obstacles and to leave my abusive home. It was hard to break the chain that bound me. But thanks to OASIS/FRC counselors and shelter staff I was able to start my new life abuser free!”—Anonymous