Zunique could hardly believe her ears. After 26 years of marriage, her husband wanted a divorce. The same man who had manipulated and abused her for decades was now calling the police, and she would have to leave.
“My husband was an alcoholic,” Zunique says. “One of the reasons I stayed so long was to raise my grandson. When he came of age and left home, the abuse got worse.”
Zunique’s sudden, unexpected freedom confused her at first. If the police were coming to get her, was she going to jail? Would she become homeless? She had no family in the area. No place to turn.
A police officer assured Zunique that she wasn’t in trouble. He escorted her to a nearby hospital for physical and psychological care. Two weeks later, the hospital referred her to Phoenix Rescue Mission.
“I was always afraid of shelters,” Zunique says. “But something completely unexpected happened here. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt comfortable. That’s when I knew this place was nothing but a miracle.”
Still, she understood the path to healing would be an uphill climb. Years of emotional abuse had taken their toll. Zunique drew inner strength from Bible study. She formed a bond of sisterhood with fellow women at the Changing Lives Center who lifted her spirits on the darkest of days.
Meanwhile, counseling helped Zunique dig down deep to the root of her trauma. As the fears and anxieties of the past melted away, she saw exciting new possibilities. She had survived. Now it was time to thrive.
“I used to feel like the walls were closing in. Like I didn’t have a future,” Zunique says. “Now I’m working to obtain my GED. I have dreams and aspirations. I want my own life back, and I can see that happening now.”
“Every single step of this journey has been peaceful and calm,” she continues. “God has shown me what love is in this place.”
Your partnership makes our Changing Lives Center a refuge where healing happens every day. If you or someone you know is suffering abuse at the hands of a domestic partner, call 1-833-HOPE-PHX. Help is always available.