Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Esther's Story
Written by Admin

Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Esther's Story

APWC Family Advocate Michelle Baek

By Michelle Baek, Former APWC Family Advocate

Esther* and her two-year-old son joined Asian Pacific Women’s Center (APWC) transitional housing program in March 2012. They escaped from an environment of chronic abuse and were referred to APWC by House of Ruth, the emergency shelter Esther and her son resided at after they left their home. Esther and her son had suffered years of physical, emotional and financial abuse from her husband. Each day was a battle for her life and her son’s life.

Esther had immigrated to the US in 2001. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree and was in the process of completing a CPA certification program when she became a victim in an abusive relationship where she lost everything: her dignity, safety, confidence and strength.  After two years, with the desire to free her son from a legacy of abuse, she overcame her fears and left her husband to seek help. Initially, they had difficulty adjusting to the new surroundings but actively participated in all of APWC’s programs, including therapeutic art, individual therapy, group support, and case management services.

While living at APWC transitional housing, she once again became enthusiastic about her future and decided to continue her career goals of becoming a CPA. With little income coming in, she applied for and received a scholarship that allowed her to pursue her education to become a CPA. Since she has come to APWC, she has actively been attending school full-time and continues to find strength to look past her violent past and struggles and move forward towards a better life. She has become one of our most self-sufficient survivors and is a model for other survivors facing the same arduous path.

Being a part of the Asian Pacific Women’s Center allowed Esther to start over. Though she must live with her past, her past does not define her future. She has proven to be determined and strong.  She gained the vigor to be self-sufficient and is creating a new life. APWC is proud to support and be witness to Esther’s past, present and future acts of courage, resilience, and achievement.

*The name has been changed to protect the survivor’s privacy.