I am writing this letter to thank you and everyone in your organization, “No More Tears” for doing all that you do. I am an immigrant living in Dallas, TX and I am a survivor of almost three years of physical and emotional spousal abuse. I am a young, educated, fun loving, independent and carefree female who got married and moved from New York City to Dallas to pursue my dreams of a happy marriage and family life.
Sadly, my dreams turned into my worst nightmares when my then husband became abusive, even while I was pregnant. I felt like I couldn’t leave as I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter and I did not have any family and friends in Texas that I could turn to. More so, I was naïve and thought I could change him if I showed him how much I loved him. I was wrong.
I finally left last year in June when he pushed my mom against the wall and threatened her. I fled my home in the middle of the night with my 22 month old baby and mother and went to a domestic violence shelter. Because of my immigrant status, I was unable to receive much assistance like food, baby necessities, housing, jobs, etc. I am very employable and was very willing to work and “pay my own way” but my visa did not allow me to. My ex had also filed false reports against me with immigration authorities and every other possible law enforcement agencies and did everything he could to get back at me for leaving him. I had nothing, no money, no home, no support, no friends, escalating expenses and lawyer fees. I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle and was slowing losing my will power.
I was very dejected and depressed when I dialed the number on ‘No More Tears’ website on that Saturday morning. I fully expected to go into voice mail when you answered my call. I was shocked. I burst into tears while explaining my situation. You were so calm, understanding, patient, nice, reassuring and extremely knowledgeable and that helped me a lot as I had needed to know that someone cared. I was very touched when you told me you were going to get me a pro bono immigration lawyer and then gave me your personal email address, cell phone number and a list of documents to email you. I had read about you and I was very impressed to know that a famous actress and model like you can be so personally and actively involved in this cause. It was extremely refreshing to find out how sincere and genuine your efforts were.
The immigration lawyer called me the following Monday and was extremely efficient and professional. Although I ended up using the lawyer in another agency here in Dallas, you and your agency left a great impression on me. I realized that there were people who truly cared and that gave me the strength to carry on. Throughout this past, difficult year, I got into a fantastic transitional housing program with a beautiful apartment for my daughter and I, learnt how to drive, got a car, got a job, started a business, started my vawa petition, began my healing process with a local therapy and counseling program, and I am slowly finding myself again. I still have some ‘down’ moments but I refuse to stay in it.
I am a much happier person than I was and I am very grateful for organizations like yours. I wanted to write you as you have touched me so much and I wanted to thank you and your team and to let you know that all your efforts are so important and very much appreciated as you literally save lives! Abuse can happen to anyone and if I had stayed in my situation, my daughter and I might not have been alive.
I am so grateful for you and your team and would love an opportunity to pay it forward in my own little way. Somy, you are wonderful and absolutely incredible and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!