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October 26, 2018
This blog post contains potentially triggering statistics and themes.
As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, we want to take time to honor the youth in Covenant House Georgia’s care that have come through our doors in search of solace from situations of domestic violence. Safe housing is a huge need for victims of domestic violence, as this epidemic affects 24 people every minute in the United States, but can often be a struggle to find. This is where Covenant House Georgia’s open intake policy comes into play. We welcome all youth from all walks of life into our programs and help them work through their trauma with varying methods of mental health services, case management, and even physical health and wellness services. Covenant House creates a new normal for victims of domestic violence by welcoming them into a supportive, structured, and loving environment where they can begin to heal and to start a new future.
This year, a young woman entered our program after having experienced domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend. She came to Covenant House in search of safety, support, and hope for accomplishing her goals. Below is the story, in her words, of how she was able to find all of those things.
“Growing up, I moved a lot because of instability but I never looked at moving as a bad thing because I had the chance to meet new people and adjust to new environments. When I started my first day at my seventh high school in four years, it was hard because I was so used to just getting by with a “C” in every class. At my new school, it was different because the teachers did not let you pass because you were pretty or dressed nice, but because you actually had the knowledge of what was being taught. My first semester, I failed two classes. The semester after that, I had to take double the classes just to graduate.
One day at a college fair, I met a woman named Maria. She was one of the volunteers from Clayton State University. Maria explained to me everything about the university from the tuition, to the dorms, to the overall campus life. I became excited about the possibility of going to college and, since that day, I was constantly working 10 times harder than before. School became easier because I had something to look forward to after graduation. This work paid off on February 18th when I received an acceptance letter from Clayton State University for the Fall 2018 semester. I was so excited!
This excitement soon wore off the night of my high school prom, when I was kicked out of my aunt’s house because I did not make it home by curfew. At the time, I was dating a guy that I had known since 9th grade. Considering the fact that I had nowhere to go, I moved in with him. Within two weeks of living with him, he became very physically, verbally, and sexually abusive. He didn’t support my dreams and goals and the day before my graduation, he burned my cap and gown. The abuse continued to get worse with him; on my 18th birthday, we had a fight that left me so bruised and bloody that my father didn’t even recognize me. I decide that would be the last time but I had nowhere else to go so I began looking online for homeless shelters. Before almost giving up, I made one last call to Covenant House Georgia. I was told that there was a bed available for me so the next day, without a question, I drove to Covenant House to start a new life. While staying here at the Covenant House I have accomplished many things. I have been able to actually pursue my dream of attending college and receive the healing I needed with the help of staff and my peers.
In August, I moved onto Clayton State University’s campus and started my journey as a freshman of Class of 2022. Covenant House of Georgia will always be a beautiful blessing in my life.”
If you are between the ages of 18 and 24 and are a victim of domestic violence, or if you believe someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call Covenant House Georgia at 404-589-0163. If you are 25 and older, here are resources that can help:
Covenant House Georgia
1559 Johnson Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Main Phone: 404-589-0163
Covenant House Georgia
PO Box 94465
Atlanta, GA 30377
Youth Direct Line: 404-713-0954
501(c)(3) organization - Tax ID#: 13-3523561 - All donations are tax-deductible