Finding Strength and Resilience Through NVFS Resources

Mental Health

Diana first entered the domestic violence program at NVFS’ Multicultural Center and was immediately assigned to Saara Amri, a mental health therapist, to guide her through her transitions and provide her with the support she needed. Diana was coping with her new role as a single parent after leaving her children’s abusive father, learning how to advocate for herself and children, and even learning how to speak English more fluently to be able to better communicate with others in the United States. This support, on top of the services she received through NVFS’ Program for Survivors of Torture & Trauma (PSTT), helped Diana find the strength she needed.

“I have seen her evolution from not being able to speak English, being unable to speak without bursting in to tears … to learning how to take public transportation with two small children, driving a car, learning to speak up for herself, finding a job at her children’s school,” Amri states. “And it all culminated with being able to testify in court to the abuse she and her children endured without becoming emotionally overwhelmed or traumatized.” Laura Poole, her NVFS case manager, adds: “NVFS has been a stable place for Diana and her children while she has worked extremely hard to ensure her children’s safety and stability. She has demonstrated every effort to care for her children in the best way possible, and has worked full time over the past school year in order to better care for her family’s financial needs.” NVFS prides itself on being a one-stop shop for individuals and families in the Northern Virginia community who are in need of assistance — financially, mentally and emotionally. The wraparound services Diana received provided her with the foundation to move forward, even when her family’s safety was in jeopardy. “Diana is a client who really represents someone that has been able to work from a place of intense trauma toward a place of stability,” says Poole. “The primary barrier to her self-sufficiency was directly related to a situation in which she had to send her children to their abusive father each week in order to comply with their custody order. With therapy she received through NVFS’ domestic violence program, she has been able to work toward stability, even in an ongoing situation in which her basic needs and the safety of her children were often unknown.” Today, Diana has a completely new lease on life with a stable job, and safety for both her and her children. This safety and stability provides Diana with the peace of mind she needs to help her family thrive.

For more information on NVFS’ domestic violence program, click here. ❖