Alicia

Alicia's husband told her that he would kill her if she tried to press charges. 

September 30, 2019

SURVIVOR OF:

domestic violence

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

Africa

For fear of losing my life, I knew I had no choice but to ask someone for help.

 

I found BPSOS-Houston’s Communities Against Domestic Violence program and saw that they had a 24-hour crisis hotline. I called, begging someone – anyone – to help me. I was put in contact with a case worker who told me to call the police. I told her I wasn’t able to as I did not have a green card and I was from Nigeria.

 

The case worker managed to calm me down and worked me through a safety plan. The first step was to get photographic or video evidence.

The next time my husband beat me, I managed to get a recording of it by hiding my phone in my jean pocket. I was still hesitant to press charges because my husband told me that if I tried, he would kill me. However, I knew I could end up dying anyways if I stayed with him.

 

One night got so bad that he smashed a dinner plate over my head causing me several facial and scalp contusions. I was so out of it that when the police came, I couldn’t even press charges because of the state of mind I was in.

When we did finally manage to make it to court, my appointed lawyer told me that the case was going to be dropped.

 

My husband had hired a fancy lawyer and had managed to create a false narrative surrounding me.

 

He said I concocted this whole story because I was not legal here. The lawyer told me that there was no way this court ruling would go in my favor and to just stop while I was ahead.

 

I remember thinking, if I do nothing, I will die. That is when my case manager reminded me of the video proof that I had from the night. When I showed it to my lawyer, she looked so shocked.

 

She immediately ran into the courtroom and when she came back, she told me that I had been granted a five-year protective order and that they were pressing criminal charges against him.

Since then, I have managed to claim authority over my own life.

 

My VAWA case was approved and I was granted a work permit. I also am at a transition home which is being paid for for a full year. I have also gone back to school and my green card application is currently being reviewed.

 

For the first time in my life, I am no longer a victim but am able to control my own narrative.