her hair. He would also throw plates of food on the oor and walls of the house whenever meals were not to his satisfaction. She said he would spend his days drinking alcohol with friends and would beat her relentlessly in front of the children. She told me she had thought he would change after CPS became involved but that, instead, his abuse became more calculating and discreet.
I worked on an updated safety plan with the client, and she agreed to hide herself and the children in the agency’s safe house. The safety plan included information on obtaining a restraining order, going into a safe house, identifying safe people she could talk to, and teaching the children safety planning strategies as well as tips on important documentation and the importance of journ- aling all signi cant details of the abuse. Charo’s husband showed up outside of the agency that day while she was there and called her phone repeatedly. Charo put the call on speaker so I could hear his voice. He ordered her to go outside and go home with him and made threats toward her. I called the police, and Charo’s husband was arrested outside of the agency. I went to the court- house with Charo, helping her le a temporary restraining order and providing her with emotional support throughout the experi- ence. After obtaining the restraining order, Charo and her ve children were admitted to the agency’s safe house.
While at the safe house, Charo met with me weekly for indi- vidual counseling and continued to attend the domestic violence support groups. She reported feeling damaged, ugly, and unlov- able. She also reported feeling anxious, depressed, and hopeless, crying often, and losing weight. Charo’s husband was eventually deported back to Mexico.
I discussed with Charo the dynamics of domestic violence and provided her with numerous resources that could serve as informal and formal supports to her and the children. Charo was referred to a psychiatrist, who prescribed 50 mg of Zoloft to help manage the anxiety and depressive symptoms she was experiencing. Charo began attending a church nearby where she quickly felt connected and also began attending English as a second language (ESL) classes twice a week. We met once a week for 9 months. During the rst 3 months, we focused on stabilization. During the second 3 months, we focused on decreasing symptoms of anxiety