Asking why a person stays in an abusive relationship places the blame on the wrong person. It's a common question, though - one we feel people ask because they aren't familiar with the forces that are at play. Try to imagine how you would leave...
...if you had no money of your own?
...if your partner threatened to hurt or take your child or your pet?
...if a church was central to your life, and wouldn't support your choice?
...if your partner was prominent in the community, and no one knew - or would believe - what happened behind closed doors?
...if your partner was a legal resident who'd encouraged you to arrive with a visa - and then refused to sponsor your immigration, and threatened to turn you in?
At The Advocates, we recognize that these barriers, and more, are at play for people experiencing abuse. We offer programs specifically designed to tear down these barriers, allowing people to pursue freedom, dignity, and safety. Here are some of the ways we do it!
We developed Skills for Success (SFS) to address the community challenge of economically empowering low-income, unemployed, or underemployed abuse victims. We teach them the job and life skills they need to gain successful, long-term employment.
The course focuses on areas such as interview skills, resume development, advocating for yourself in the workplace, and more. Most participants complete a local internship, we can also connect them to additional educational opportunities including obtaining their GED. Through a partnership with The Hunger Coalition and the College of Southern Idaho, a variety of other classes are open to participants.
SAMEE was developed to provide sound financial understanding and habits for our clients. Participants learn skills such as balancing a checkbook, building and following a budget, and understanding credit reports. They also have the opportunity to open a savings account to save for short and long-term goals such as buying a washer or dryer, pursuing additional education or professional certification, starting a business, buying a car, or purchasing a home. The Advocates offers a 1:1 match for savings.
There are many ways in which we help our clients navigate the legal system. Staff are able to assist with certain paperwork, such as court protection orders. They can also help clients apply for legal immigration status under the Violence Against Women Act.
For clients that need assistance with family law issues including divorce, child custody, and child support related cases, services are provided via a local attorney. We also help clients work with Idaho Legal Aid.
Lastly, advocates can provide support simply by attending court hearings with clients.
It was my goal to get a job by May 5th and I got one before that. I can do what I say I will do. I am telling my son this and other things that I learned here. I wanted to build my confidence and I did that. I feel hopeful about my future. I now hold my head up high.
Today I was able to buy a car because of The Advocates. I’m leaving here in tears of joy, because I never thought I’d be able to accomplish this goal. After all I’ve been through, I can’t tell you how much independence this will give me.