30 Aug Amy & Hans: A Journey to Safety
With the sun shining through her window, Amy awoke early in the morning. Unfortunately, she did not have a peaceful sleep in her car. Due to fleeing her home in a hurry, she lacked many of the necessities needed to have a good night’s rest. Instead, she felt tired, fearful, anxious, and overwhelmed. During the most recent altercation with her partner, the verbal abuse escalated to physical violence. Terrified by this sudden change, Amy rushed to escape from the situation, during which she was unable to retrieve Hans, her registered emotional support dog.
Amy was extremely worried about Hans and was devastated that she was forced to leave him behind. Her circumstance was worsened when she checked her phone and found several angry text messages from her partner, telling her that the only way that she was going to get her dog back was to come back home. Her partner had also sent her threatening reminders that both of their names were on the lease and that she was going to be held accountable for leaving one way or another. That morning, Amy called the National Domestic Violence Hotline and was directed to WTLC.
When Amy arrived at the shelter, she was offered clinical and legal services. Before her legal advocate spoke with her, she didn’t even know that she had legal options. However, after talking through her situation with her advocate and learning about the rights that she had as a survivor of domestic violence, Amy was able to come up with a plan of action. Her advocate was able to assist her with a lease break letter, so she could remove herself from the lease of the apartment that she had shared with her partner. Next, working with her advocate, she filed for a Temporary Restraining Order, asking for protection for herself and possession of her dog Hans. She was even able to request property control of some of her belongings that she had left behind at the apartment, including her clothing and important documents.
While Amy waited for her court date, her advocate assisted her with hearing preparation. She printed out pictures of the injuries that she had sustained in the last incident, as well as text messages that revealed the nature of the emotional and verbal abuse that had also taken place. Her advocate was even able to translate the messages that were written in Spanish into English so that the court could understand. On the date of her hearing, Amy felt confident and prepared. Her Restraining Order was fully granted for 3 years. Her former partner would no longer be allowed to contact or harass her, her personal belongings were returned, and Hans would be coming home with her, a welcomed addition to her apartment at WTLC’s shelter.