Client Stories


Ophelia survived strangulation but was still hurting. Thanks to you, she is healing and feels more in control of her life

Just 15 years old, Ophelia is a survivor of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault and strangulation.

“My life was toxic, gray, and I was in limbo. I didn’t want to tell anyone or talk to anyone,” says Ophelia. “My school staff discovered my injuries and called the police, I was taken to the hospital. Then I stopped going to school.”

Thanks to you and your generosity, when Ophelia reached out for support, a caring advocate was available and ready to help her. Your support provided her with peer counseling, safety planning, legal advocacy, and more.

When we first met Ophelia, she was quiet and not very communicative. She wore dark clothes and would mostly look down with little eye contact. Because of the assault and aftermath of the criminal process starting, she had stopped attending school and was isolating at home.

Ophelia walked into our office seeking help in navigating the court process against her abuser. However, she quickly found it to be a safe place for her to express and work through the trauma she experienced. She shared that her painful history of abandonment as a child and fear of losing someone else kept her silent about the abuse and the assault. In peer counseling, Ophelia felt safe to share these fears without judgment.

Much of the focus in peer counseling was on ensuring Ophelia’s sense of security while empowering her to articulate her needs and safeguard herself. She found solace in sharing her experiences and receiving support from her advocate. She learned that she is in control of her life, and that neither the assault nor previous abandonment are her fault.

Ophelia also engaged in safety planning and goal setting, equipping herself with the necessary tools to ensure her well-being. And with court accompaniment, she always had her advocate by her side as she navigated the court process against her abuser. As the proceedings concluded, Ophelia delivered a compelling victim impact statement during the sentencing phase.

Today, Ophelia is open, bright, and smiles a lot. She is going to school, working part-time, and has a side business doing nails She is making friends, going to concerts and looking forward to living life on her terms, using her new power statement, “I’m in charge!

“I have a long way to go, but I have learned a lot, and it is important to work with people who know how to work with survivors,” says Ophelia.

Thank you for helping Ophelia — and so many other survivors of teen dating violence — heal and take charge of their lives!

“I have learned to say ‘No’ and put myself first.” – Ophelia, age 15

Donate Today to Help Another Teen in Crisis!