Long road to the horizon free image[November 23, 2020] When I met the person who abused me, I was learning how to be my own person and overcoming traumatic experiences I had during my adolescent years. During this time, I fought through many bouts of severe depression, suicide attempts and eating disorders. He knew about the previous traumas I had been through, and was the first person who was ever really there for me. At the same time, he wanted me to just move on from what I experienced, and put all of my focus on him. He tried to control almost everything I did, yet when confronted about his behavior, acted as though I had the utmost freedom in the relationship.

While dating, I got my first full-time job, enrolled in school and bought my first car. However, the more independence I had, the worse his abuse became.

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What Protection?

wooden-judges-gavel - The Academy at Penguin Hall[September 16, 2020] Most people think that when a woman leaves her abusive husband with their children, the abuse stops and family court protects them. Prior to my involvement with family court during my abusive marriage, I thought the same thing. The truth almost killed me. 

In reality, by voicing my concerns about my child’s safety in their father’s care, unbeknownst to me, I gave away my right to protect my child. While I can only speak for my case, there are many, many women whom I have met who have experienced similar family court trauma. By refusing to negotiate on visitation time, despite my very real concerns and proven abuse, our child was placed into the custody of their father for 80% of the week. Even though we were awarded joint custody and placement, my abuser got the majority of the visitation time. 

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SOAR's Our Voice is Our Power Series

[September 8, 2020] Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR) is excited to announce the launch of the Our Voice is Our Power series, a training and event series for survivors by survivors. 

This event series will be sharing valuable knowledge, resources, and information that SOAR members have collectively worked to bring to the community with the purposes of empowering survivors with tools and resources they need to access safety and healing, and creating a community where domestic violence no longer exists. 

We will be offering the following trainings this Fall: 

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A message to RI leaders: The time is now to increase RI Works

Patricia Graduation[July 29, 2020] My name is Patricia Rivera. I am a mother of 5 children. While I was raising my children, I was experiencing abuse from their father. During these childrearing years, human services assistance helped me to get on my feet. Had it not been for the aid that I sought, I may not still be alive.

Although I was in charge of the finances, my children’s father still managed to take more than he gave. Nevertheless, I was pretty successful at keeping up with the bills on my own. But without the support of Section 8 and heating assistance, I would likely have become homeless or been obliged to go to a shelter. The services that I received also allowed me the ability to continue my education on my path of becoming self-sufficient.

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Emotional Abuse Is Real

power and control wheel updated[July 15, 2020] Some say emotional abuse is the worst kind of abuse to heal from. Others say it’s not even a real thing, that the person is just weak and can't handle criticism. There's a huge stigma around it because of those views. I can tell you that EMOTIONAL ABUSE IS REAL!

Emotional abuse completely destroyed me, leaving me with absolutely nothing. I had to start everything over, become my own person again, learn who I am, what I like and dislike, figure out what works best for me to parent my kids. The relationship I was in was lopsided; my feelings were ignored because his were more important, I became someone who was centered around pleasing someone else and ensuring he was okay, that I didn't matter anymore.

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