24- HOUR CRISIS LINES
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence
(South County & San Benito County)
1.877.END.SADV (1.877.363.7238)
Youth & Family Crisis Line
(South County)
1.408.683.4118

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Client Stories

 

Jessica LOVED playing soccer, but she couldn’t…until you came along.

 

You see, Jessica* had an eating disorder – Anorexia Nervosa. Being bullied about her looks combined with low self-esteem had led Jessica to severe dieting and over-exercising for fear of gaining weight. By the time she came to Community Solutions, she was significantly under-weight and her health was at risk due to lack of nutrition. Thus, she was not able to play soccer – her favorite sport.

 

Initially, Jessica was slow to warm-up to her treatment team. She had low self-esteem, frequently made self-disparaging remarks, and disregarded any compliments or positive comments directed toward her. She would become very anxious when spoken to about food or body image. And, she was definitely upset about missing out on her favorite sport.

 

With the support of her Community Solutions team and her family, Jessica committed to a daily eating schedule (3 meals + 2 snacks a day) and limited physical activity until her body could regain nutritional health. She began to identify and accept her positive traits and accomplishments. She learned healthy coping behaviors such as listening to music or creating artwork when feeling anxious or sad.

 

As it turns out, Jessica is a great artist. Pouring herself into her artwork helped her cope with her feelings of anxiety and kept her busy doing something she enjoyed – especially when she was not able to play soccer or other physical activities.

 

Today, Jessica smiles often, is confident and is able to receive and accept positive compliments. She is able to eat regularly throughout the day without worrying about her body image. Her self-esteem has increased and she feels strong and healthy. She has also become very involved in the community: helping put bikes together for those in need, serving food at the holidays and tutoring younger children.

 

One of the most important things she has learned says Jessica is “to not pay attention and ignore others about what they say [referring to bullying comments]… and be happy.”  And, now that she is healthy once again, Jessica has been cleared to return to soccer in February!

 

Thank you for helping Jessica find her way back to health and happiness. What a gift!

 

Jessica participated in our FSP Children program. Click here to learn more about this program.

 

*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality.

 

 


 

Just 8 years old and so angry...but you helped change that!

 

Eight-year-old Jorge was in trouble at school for spitting in other kids’ faces; punching and kicking them; yelling, screaming and crying; and leaving the classroom multiple times throughout the day. He was impatient and required constant attention. Needing a solution, Jorge’s school contacted the County Mental Health Call Center and his family was referred to our Family & Child Services (F&C) program.

 

When Jorge was first introduced to Community Solutions, he was distracted and seemed resistant to interaction with staff. He was shy and tense, mumbling replies and avoiding eye contact. But with patience and consistent care, that changed. Through weekly rehabilitation services and case management, Jorge began to learn how to calm himself when upset. He learned to recognize his “hot body” feeling (anger) and to practice deep breathing by “making big bubbles” to calm himself down.

 

After just three months of treatment, Jorge is showing so much improvement. His mother and siblings report that he uses deep breathing regularly – both when prompted and on his own. He happily demonstrates “blowing big bubbles” for his case manager and is proud that he can use this practice instead of hitting, kicking or spitting when he becomes angry or upset.

 

Jorge not only learn and practices these techniques, but he now takes pride in them as well. Such a gift for an 8-year-old! Thank you for making this possible for young Jorge.

 

Jorge participated in our Family & Child (F&C) program. Click here to learn more about this program.

 

*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality.


 


 

You helped Lucy find safety and a new beginning  

 

We first met Lucy over a year ago when she came into our offices seeking support for a divorce shortly after her baby daughter was born. Lucy was soft-spoken, always respectful and careful not to say anything too loud.  She had convinced herself that her husband’s violent behavior and abuse were the result of the pressure of being a new father.  After hearing her story, our advocates we were very concerned for her safety and helped Lucy to get a restraining order.

 

For a while, everything seemed to go okay. Lucy received services, including legal advocacy, from our Solutions to Violence team, and she secured an attorney to help her with the divorce.

 

And then the restraining order expired. Lucy’s husband convinced her to give him an opportunity to make amends. But instead of making amends, he trapped her in her car and nearly killed her. Lucy threw herself from the car and ran for her life. When she called our crisis line, her first words were, “This time he is really going to kill me. I need to hide.”

 

In the safety of our confidential shelter, “La Isla Pacifica,” Lucy was finally able to share her full story and admit the horrors of her marriage. She realized that she needed to survive for her daughter and that she had to disclose everything in order to be able to protect her and her baby. Through therapy, Lucy came to realize that she needed to break the cycle of dysfunctional relationships. She was empowered by her new knowledge and realized that her daughter didn’t have to repeat her story, which was the story of her mother as well.

 

With the help of our shelter advocates, Lucy began to access all the social services available. After only two months of having arrived at La Isla, Lucy and her baby were able to find a new place to live and were feeling safe.

 

In the end, the story that she had been afraid to tell became the evidence needed to protect her and her baby.  Her story set her free. Today, Lucy and her daughter are living a life free of violence and abuse. 

 

Thank you for giving Lucy a safe place to heal and start her life anew.

 

Lucy received services from our Solutions to Violence programs. Click here to learn more about these services.

 

*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality.

 


 

 

You helped Felicia see her inner beauty.

 

If you saw Felicia today, you might not recognize her. This professional and self-assured woman has come a long way since she first walked through our doors.

 

When we first met Felicia, she was quiet, shy and lacking self-esteem. She didn’t dress up, style her hair or wear make-up; she just didn’t feel that she was worth it. Felicia had difficulty concentrating, worried excessively and had panic attacks. Her self-doubt impacted her work, and she struggled with communication and setting boundaries. At home, her ex-husband was stealing from her, drinking and using drugs, and abusing her and her kids.

 

Felicia thought this would be her life forever; she felt there was no hope for her.

 

But, she believed in herself just enough to pick up the phone and call the County Mental Health line, where she was referred to Community Solutions.

 

At Community Solutions, Felicia found in her case manager someone who would listen to her. And she, in turn, listened carefully to what her case manager had to say. She learned that she matters and that if she wants something bad enough, she has to work for it. She came to understand that no one has the right to abuse her and that she does, indeed, deserve a good life for herself and her children. She learned the tools she needed to stand up for herself and to pursue the life she dreamed of.

 

Felicia learned interviewing techniques and secured the credentials and licenses to be a financial advisor. She learned to budget and now has her own place and a nice car. Through her job, she secured medical benefits for herself and her children. Felicia lost weight, cut and styled her hair, and started dressing professionally, even wearing heels. Her walk and her smile reflect her confidence and self-esteem.

 

Today, Felicia now knows her inner beauty and she shows it to the world. She is living the dream of who she wanted to be.

 

Thank you for helping Felicia recognize her beauty within and share it with the world!

 

Felicia participated in our Adult Traditional Mental Health program. Click here to learn more about this program.

 

*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality.