The success of our clients is what makes the work meaningful. These examples of the bravery, tenacity and strength of Women’s Law Center’s clients are inspirational.
Baltimore County POARP Client’s Story of Change:
In 2006, my world turned upside down and I almost took my own life.
I am the mother of two boys and one beautiful girl. I am Italian American and Catholic. My husband was from Egypt and Muslim. We were very different from one another but loved one another and got along perfectly fine during the beginning of our marriage.
My life fell apart when I found out my husband had a heroin problem and was on methadone. I figured this out by finding hospital admission paperwork to a methadone clinic. It was evident and in my face – there was no denying my husband of 17 years and father of my children was a drug addict. I also found out that he was cheating on me with my best friend. My world crumbled and I was devastated.
We had a good life. We had a gorgeous house with six bedrooms and two BMW SUV’s. At the time the kids were 5, 11, and 13. I was a housewife. I didn’t understand how he could do this to me. I knew that I had to start protecting myself and my kids.
I checked him into four rehabilitation clinics but his girlfriend checked him out by posing as his wife. I tried everything to get him help, but he didn’t want the help. He would disappear for days at a time. He and his brother owned a small business. He started not going to work. I found a fulltime job close to home so I could be home in a flash if anything happened. I did everything for the kids. Meanwhile, my husband would get high and disappear for days with his girlfriend.
I started to find drugs around the house and would flush them. When my husband discovered this, he became violent with me. He threw garbage cans at me in the garage, threw me up against the cement wall. One time he hit me in the side of my head so hard that his hand turned purple. When my 11 year old son got in the middle of us, my husband picked him up by the throat and choked him and told him if he said one more word he would kill him.
There were several arrests for possession, he spent time in jail, his car was taken by the police and he was beaten up several times. He left our boys in a McDonalds while he went to buy drugs. The icing on the cake was when he spoke vulgarly to my 75 year old mother and threatened to take my kids to Egypt. That was it; I was done and heard all I needed to hear.
The next day, I contacted the Women’s Law Center. At that point, I was down to 99 pounds, worn out, stressed out and sickly. I didn’t care about life and really didn’t care if I died. I came into the office frail and crying.
The Women’s Law Center POARP attorney met with me immediately and we were in court the next day. The attorney filed for a protective order and we got it! When the Sheriff came to order my husband out of my house, he was passed out from his drugs. The POARP attorney was extremely strong in court and did not let my husband’s lawyer deter her or intimidate her at all. Of course, my husband violated the order many times by coming to my work and harassing me. The attorney represented me each time. She knew the laws inside and out, guided me and advised me.
I was determined not to let anyone harm my children in any way. I had to put my children in hiding for a year at relatives’ houses. The Women’s Law Center’s attorney kept the children’s passports for me. The FBI and Homeland Security were involved and they were put on a ‘no fly’ list. While the kids were in hiding, I filed for divorce. He was served with the papers while in jail.
I had never been through anything like this ever. The POARP attorney was my strength at that time. Without the Women’s Law Center attorney and my divorce attorney getting me through this horrible time, I would not be here today. It was the darkest, horrific, painful time in my life. My world almost came to an end, but these two angels saved me!
I am happy to say that today I am remarried for almost two years to a wonderful man; my kids are doing quite well. My two oldest are in college, my youngest is 12 and in middle school and loves basketball. My ex has finally gotten himself off of drugs, is remarried and lives in Egypt. His kids don’t really have much to do with him other than an occasional phone call. Life has finally gotten back to where it should be. We are a FAMILY and I can never go back to the situation I was in.
I would like to highly recommend the Women’s Law Center. They are very capable and know the laws and what to do for you to help you when you are in a dark place. I wanted to die but when I met the Women’s Law Center attorney, that all changed. She empowered me to stand up and fight for myself and my kids. There is light at the end, and they can help. I am eternally grateful.