Carolina's storyBefore I left the shelter I met Ms. Marrero, Aftercare Coordinator, who helped me get organized and get to all the appointments I needed for the new apartment. Most important, my girls went to day care near our house.

One day I saw the girls’ father, the man who abused me, at the bodega. I ran out of the store. I was so scared. Then I saw him across the street from the day care. I didn’t know what to do. I was terrified. I tried not to leave the apartment. I stopped sending the girls to day care. Ms. Marrero told me that I was being stalked, that stalking was a crime and to report it to the police. When I did, they told me that stalking was not a crime. Ms. Marrero called the precinct and spoke with a sergeant. It is a crime! The officer finally took my complaint.

Even so, the girls’ father kept showing up. And even worse, he began to call me every night. Ms. Marrero called the police to help me almost every day. I began to fear for my life. I thought we would have to go to a shelter again to be safe.

Ms. Marrero contacted the domestic violence detective who sometimes spoke at the shelter. He found the girls’ father and arrested him. While he was in jail for two weeks, I went to Criminal Court with Ms. Marrero to get an order of protection.

I never saw him again. We are still in our safe apartment and the girls are back in day care.