This is a part of a series of posts from our 2019-2020 annual report about the battle against poverty, your role in the battle, and some of your allies in the fight. See first post. See next post.
ALIAS: “Aegis,” “Isobel”
CATCHPHRASE: “Today’s the time.”
LOCATION: Veracruz, Mexico; Roanoke, VA
PSYCH EVAL: Depressed, hopeless, afraid
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Petite build, brown hair, brown eyes
ABILITIES: Resourcefulness, willpower, love for her children
DETAILS OF CASE
Isobel was married to her husband, XXXXXXXXXXXXX, for nearly 20 years. At first he was kind, and they lived happily in their home in Veracruz, Mexico. Within six months, his true colors started to show. At first the abuse was verbal, and began to escalate before Isobel became pregnant with their first child.
After her daughter was born, Isobel fled to the United States where she had family in Roanoke, Virginia. XXXXXXXXXXX followed. Isobel says he was a “changed man” for a few months, but quickly fell back into his old ways of parties, drugs, and women while she cared for their child on her own. As they had more children, XXXXXXXXXXX became more abusive, at one point holding a gun to her head and threatening to kill her.
XXXXXXXXXXXX convinced her that she couldn’t call the authorities for help because she didn’t speak English, and they wouldn’t understand her. She tried to escape by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX but returned for fear of her children’s safety. XXXXXXXXXXX tightened his control and ensured her dependence on him by taking her phone, car keys, money, and legal documents, and preventing her from leaving the house.
Isobel became isolated, deeply depressed, and experienced crippling fear. Unable to sleep or eat, she often locked herself in the bathroom and cried for hours. Only her love for her children gave her hope and the will to live.
According to a source, her family encouraged her for years to stay in the relationship. “When is the time?” she asked them. “When he kills me? Will that be when you tell me it’s time to leave?” Fed up, she decided “today’s the time.”
THE ENEMY: ISOLATION
Isolation is suffocating. It envelops the subject from all sides. It makes the subject feel trapped, like there’s no help to be found.
It exploits the subject’s weaknesses, creating a victim who’s lost and afraid. Worst of all, it threatens to end the subject’s fight for survival by sapping them of all hope.
Isobel now has a safe home and a small business, and her children are thriving. With the help of DVS staff, she has applied for U.S. citizenship.