Miriam’s Story – “The shelter saved my life.”
Domestic violence is an issue that continues to plague Israeli society. What makes this even more severe is the reality that the majority of female victims of domestic violence do not come forward, so they suffer in silence.
CHW, in its collaboration with World WIZO, helps to support shelters for victims of domestic violence, specifically for women and their children who have escaped a violent and dangerous home.
*Miriam and her four children turned to the shelter in their time of need; they are examples of the lives CHW helped to save through its support of shelters in Israel.
Miriam is 31 years old. She was happily married with a beautiful, growing, family; she had it all. However, during Miriam’s fourth pregnancy, her husband became increasingly violent; at one point hitting her in the stomach. When Miriam’s husband turned his violence towards their children, she knew she had to leave.
Initially, Miriam and her children went to her parent’s home for security. However, realizing that they were not safe there, Miriam sought refuge at a WIZO shelter.
The shelter gave Miriam the support and assistance that she was in dire need of. With the guidance and assistance from the dedicated staff, Miriam regained her confidence and sense of self-worth. Miriam took classes on how to become an independent parent. The social workers and psychologists helped Miriam to overcome her immense feelings of guilt for having exposed her children and unborn baby to such violence.
While Miriam was receiving this help, her children were being well looked after. Miriam could rebuild herself and her life while resting assured that her children were in a safe and positive environment.
Moreover, Miriam took part in group therapy at the shelter. This type of therapy helped Miriam to realize that she was not alone and other women, just like her, had gone through similar abuse.
Miriam shares, “The shelter helped me to regain my life in every aspect, I could finally breathe again.”
Today, Miriam has reclaimed her life. She has a secure job that allows her to be self-sufficient, provide for her children, and live a safe and happy life. Miriam is one of thousands of women whose lives have been saved by a CHW supported WIZO shelter. Stories like Miriam’s are what reinforce why we need to continue to support these projects.
*Miriam’s name has been changed for confidentiality purposes.
Photo: Anton Petukhov