1 in 3 homicides in Virginia is the result of domestic violence.
Raminderjit “Rimi” Brar
When I first met her in 2013, Rimi had a lot on her mind. Living in a household with multiple abusers, she was constantly worried about her personal safety and her ability to protect her children from harm. She was working part time and didn’t earn enough to leave this dangerous environment. Even if she could leave, Rimi was worried about keeping her family intact and saving face for her family back home. On top of all that, Rimi was trying to navigate the justice system as she went through multiple hearings to get a preliminary protective order against her husband and mother-in-law. I ran into her at the court and tried to help by explaining what to expect in the process of seeking a protective order. I accompanied her into the court room and connected her to the resources at Samaritan House. Through the Samaritan House Rimi was able to learn about the criminal justice system, preparing for court, and also how to keep herself and her children safe while in the home. Although some of the outcomes in court were not what she had hoped for, we dealt with each outcome and she learned and became stronger with each step that she completed. Today Rimi has a full time job and has gone back to school to learn a new skill. Soon she will be a fashion designer and cosmetologist, helping other women reach their beauty potential. She has custody of her two children and has found a permanent home. Rimi’s children are doing very well in school. Rimi’s hopes have come to fruition and I love to see the joy and peace on her face.
Susie’s Success Story
When I think of the word strong, I think of Susie, and how she saved herself and her two children. Susie has overcome more than anyone should ever have to face. After three years of marriage, she was beaten by her husband so severely that her ribs were fractured. Her children were traumatized. She had several broken teeth and was recovering from an addiction to methamphetamine’s. In the face of all these obstacles, Susie left her abuser behind and moved herself and her children to safety in her brother’s home. But not long after she arrived, her brother was threatened with eviction because Susie was not allowed on his lease. Susie called the Samaritan House and I provided her with the resources to follow her new direction in life. The Samaritan House was given the opportunity to assist Susie with relapse prevention, legal divorce services, and employment readiness. We helped connect Susie to health services like a free dental clinic. We also helped to insure her children with Medicaid, and they have made friends and received tutoring through our After school program. Both Susie and her children are receiving counseling services at no cost through a program provided by Samaritan House.
Susie now has employment and is well on her way to securing permanent housing. It has only been 49 days since Susie and her children have been in emergency shelter, but they have accomplished so much. Susie has built a support system for herself and her children in this community, making her sustained success more of a reality than probability. Susie is so strong that her life can truly go anywhere she wants.