Judge Jeri Cohen, Drug Dependency Court Founder, said this about our program:
"We know from the literature, and from our own experience with women in drug court, that as many as 75% of drug and alcohol addicted women have suffered trauma from physical and/or sexual abuse. It is crucial that treatment incorporate counseling relating to those traumatic events so that these women can work through their trauma and feel less of a need to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. I firmly believe that without processing their trauma, in a supportive and therapeutically controlled environment, women will be less likely to remain abstinent.
Victim Services has provided our mothers in dependency drug court with a therapeutic environment in which to process their trauma. The parents who have participated in counseling at Victim Services all report decreased anxiety associated with their trauma as a result of their counseling at Victim Services. In fact, many of the mothers report that their counseling at Victim Services was the most valuable services received in that it provided the first time that they could talk about their trauma in a supportive environment. Victim Services has assisted the women in understanding the link between addiction and trauma and the generational cycle of abuse, substance abuse, violence and dependency.”
Former DV victim, major childhood trauma - after about 25 hours of treatment.
Translated from Spanish
In response to the question "Have you noticed any changes since beginning our services?"
"I learned about this agency when I had presented my domestic violence case at court. The information about this agency had been mailed to my house and I did not pay much attention to it. But one day, when I had reached a point that I was so depressed that I thought of taking my life, I decided to call and they scheduled me immediately.
The treatment I received was group therapy and individual therapy, and personally this was a very gratifying experience.
Today, after my ten indivdiual sessions with William, who I must say has been an excellent therapist, I can say that I am a new person, with the desire to succeed, study, have a feeling of being closer to God, I believe in myself more, and I am a stronger person.
I give thanks to God for putting me in the hands of this great institution which has been an angel for me."
The follow client statements are from two DJJ clients, both 16 , one male and one female, after about 15 hours of service.
Clients are asked: Since starting sessions here, have you noticed any changes? If so, what are they?
"When I started coming to weekly sessions here I always felt depressed or angry about the things that happened to me. My dad abusing me was the worst one. I felt as if everything he said to me was true (I'm a whore, a bad person.) I also didn't feel like going to school. I dropped out in the middle of my 9th grade year because I couldn't deal with stress. After coming here for awhile and doing TIRs with my counselor I noticed some changes. Small but distinct. I wasn't as angry or depressed anymore. After several more sessions I felt the huge boulder lift off of my shoulders, so to speak. Now, I'm back in school, and I realize that everything my father did was not my fault at all. I finally learned to cope with my life.
Since starting my sessions here I have noticed a change in my attitude and outlook on things. I have been able to take things for what they are and nothing more. I have learned how to control my anger and my stress, all which have been very helpful changes."
Molested by a priest in his teens
"Yes, I am more able to control my emotions and do not think about the trauma as often. When I do think about it, I am able to understand that it was something that happened in my life and that it is now in the past and I must go on with my own life and look forward to the future. After going to therapy for years, I found it hard to believe that it would only be 8 -12 sessions to begin to feel like there was a future for me. Now, after 8 sessions it is amazing what this therapy has done for me. I thank everyone here at Victim Services for being kind and helpful to me, in getting back on track with my life."
Homicide Survivor after 55 hours of service
"When I started here in April of 2001, after the death of my husband, I was afraid and uncertain of the future. Now, almost a year later, I feel that there is hope and a different future. The sessions helped my self-confidence and to see my strength in my ability to move forward. These sessions helped me see that I can make a new and norma life for my son and I."
After 10 hours of service
"When I first started coming to Victim Services, I was feeling very depressed and had a lot of guilt and shame, always thinking about my past, being molested and physically abused. Today I feel good about myself. Rene has really helped me a lot through this. I donât dwell or think about my past. I have motivated myself into doing a lot of things for myself and children. Iâve learned to love myself more. My anger has calmed down a lot along with my attitude and the way I used to see things. I thank God that I was court ordered to attend Victim Services because its really helped me a lot. I have learned to deal with life without physical abuse and drug abuse."
Former domestic violence victim
Translated from Spanish
" I arrived here with my self-love, and dignity at the lowest; I wanted to die. I felt no one cared.
Here they gave me attention; they believed in me; they made me feel that there was someone capable of caring for my children and myself.
Now I feel that nothing is “impossible”: that some things are just more difficult than others.
I feel much better. You see I was at the point of losing my mind. I had lost confidence in others and especially myself. I am recuperating physically and emotionally. I have a renewed desire to live. My heart and emotions are beginning to soften. I suffered for a long time. There are still some scars left, but with God's help and with time they will heal. I give thanks to God and Jackie for all they have done for me. I feel strong again. Respectfully, The Man Who Has Come Alive
Again I recuperated my self-esteem, and I learned to depend on myself and in God. I believe that God put Victim Services Center in my path (and with it, Carolina, Teresa, Shirley, etc.).
I will never forget what they did for all three of us."
Former victim of attempted murder by family member who had physically and emotionally abused him for years - after 14 hours of treatment.
Translated from Spanish
"I feel much better. You see I was at the point of losing my mind. I had lost confidence in others and especially myself. I am recuperating physically and emotionally. I have a renewed desire to live. My heart and emotions are beginning to soften. I suffered for a long time. There are still some scars left, but with God's help and with time they will heal. I give thanks to God and Jackie for all they have done for me. I feel strong again.
Respectfully, The Man Who Has Come Alive Again "