I remember her well. She had a sadness about her that will stay with me forever. When she told me her story, tears came to her eyes and we were all moved by the emotion that poured out of her as she talked about the horrors she had experienced.
‘Janicki’ shared with us that she had been raped over 200 times by her abusive husband, often more than once a night. He denied the family food and controlled every aspect of her life. She was not allowed to go out of her house or see family or friends and he saw to it that she never had any freedom. His abusive behaviour did not stop with her. Her three year old daughter was thrown across the room by her partner and her twelve year old son was taught to abuse his mother and sister and would often kick, punch and strike them with open hangers while they lived at the centre, much like his father would.
Her son was severely beaten by his father and her daughter would scream when she went to bed and have constant nightmares about being attacked by both her father and brother. Her partner also sexually abused her three year old daughter. Her son was apprehended by Children’s Aid for the safety of the family and underwent counselling and support to help him curb his negative behaviour.
She talked about how her family cut her off because she left her husband and blamed her for the abuse. When she came to DRHP, she had no supports and no idea what her rights were. While in the centre, the case went to court and the abuser was charged. As a defense in her partner’s case, his lawyer asked for mercy on his client because he had been beaten in prison. The judge felt compassion for Janicki and stated that her abusive partner showed no remorse and therefore would not be a good candidate for rehabilitation. Her abuser was sentenced to 6 years but was eligible for parole after two years. He was credited with one year for time served. He has recently been deported back to India.
Janicki now lives in subsidized housing and is trying to make a life for herself and her daughter on the outside. Her son visits with her and she is working towards reconnecting with him in a positive way. She is no longer living under the terror of her abuser and she has learned some skills that will help her to continue to be a self sufficient and empowered woman.
Janicki’s story is just one of many. Join us on our journey and help us realize a safe and secure future for Janicki and for all abused women and children.