For years, Maria's husband would beat her until she finally left in order to protect her children.
September 30, 2019
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
I got married at the age of 16 to my husband.
For a few months, the marriage started off well until I became pregnant with my son. My husband was no longer interested in me and wanted to pursue other women. When I confronted him about it, he would get angry and aggressive.
He began to beat me for no reason and his behavior became worse as he started to become an avid drug-user. When I was pregnant with our daughter, he would smoke illegal substances in our apartment and the smoke would often times fill the room where me and my son were sleeping.
When I asked him to stop, he hit me in front of his friends. I wanted to call my mom or the cops but he had taken away my phone and he would guard the door so I could not leave.
I felt trapped and eventually decided to move back in with my parents. My husband came crawling back, begging for another chance and that he would stop the drugs and be the husband he originally promised to be. I wanted my kids to have their father in their life so I decided to give him another chance.
My husband quickly returned to his old ways. He had taken my car because he promised to take the kids out for a fun day and that he would pick me up after my shift was over. He never answered my phone calls so my mom had to take me back to my apartment. I was fuming when I knocked on the door, he refused to let me in until I calmed down. When I still tried to go in, he slammed the door on my hand, smashing my fingers.
Eventually I was able to fight my way back in, and so his brother sitting in our living room, drugged up. I went to check on the kids and saw my youngest sitting in his filth while my older ones told me their daddy had not fed them all day. I knew it was time for me to leave, for good.
My husband never stopped calling but I never picked up. One night I got a call from a neighbor telling me that someone was trying to break into my apartment window. When I went to check, I saw my husband there with a furious look on his face.
I got scared and ran to my room and called the police while he followed me screaming and cursing. He left before the police got there but eventually, he was arrested.
When I went to the police station to apply for a Magistrates Order of Protection, I saw a brochure for a local women’s shelter.
The women’s shelter got me in touch with BPSOS – Houston. Together, they managed to provide a home for me and my children for seven months. They even helped me get a job. I have only been in brief contact with my husband because I want my kids to have a father but I have managed to provide for my family without him. Since then, BPSOS’s legal team has helped me get my VAWA case approved and my green card.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank BPSOS for all their work they have done to help me. I am finally free, because of them.