After six years of emotional, physical, mental, sexual, financial and verbal abuse, I spent three years on my own lost and alone. There is no support group here in my small town. No one knew of all the trauma I had endured. I felt like I had no place to go, All Hope Restored has been a blessing to me. The curriculum is amazing. I made some great friends and I don't feel alone anymore. I feel like a Survivor!
After searching online for a DV support group because there just wasn't anything available locally I came across a message Katie (Graves) wrote on social media and the rest is history. I inboxed her and started the first FB LIVE session of AHR not long after. All Hope helped me tremendously because of my anxiety and the PTSD I have I was too afraid to leave my home unless it was to go to a doctor's appointment or run to the bank real fast. So with this being an online class it was perfect. Even though I grew in a Christian home because of the different types of abuse I have endured my faith and hope was depleted. But AHR has helped me to understand that the abuse was never my fault. It brought me back to life. I truly believe that God used Katie as a vessel to save me. And because of AHR I am here today. I hope and pray that this ministry continues to grow and help others, it is truly Heaven Sent! Reach out for help ladies it is never too late, life after abuse is possible, I deserve it and you do too.
Hi, my name is Candace Rose Wheeler, when I was 17 yrs old my boyfriend sexually assaulted me. My friend Katie introduced my to AHR and helped to me to over come everything that has happened to me. My boyfriend at the time told me when I moved out of my parents out that I couldn't talk to my family and friends. But AHR has taught me that there is a certain way I should and deserve to be treated. That if a guy likes or loves me he wouldn't do any of that. So I want to just take a minute to thank Katie and Gina for what they do for this group, it has shown me how a guy should really treat me.
I have thought long and hard about where to start with the road I have travelled on relating to domestic violence. It sounds strange to say, but I had never realized my full history until I became involved with All Hope Restored. I had met Katie Graves when I was married to my first husband stationed near Fort Carson. I had no idea that our casual meeting at a local park would turn into the relationship it has. People are sent to you for a reason, but it is up to you to see God’s presence. It truly is all around you. God brought Katie to my life that day, and I am so thankful that he did. Taking the AHR 12 week course allowed me to not only tell my stories and experiences, but also allowed me to explore the depth of so many different types of DV. Through my own self –reflection and the women I had the pleasure to get to know along my journey, have helped shape who I am today. There is this stigma that DV only exists in a relationship when a woman is physical attacked in some way, but let me tell you this is not the only form. No one has the right to mentally and emotionally beat you down, ultimately making you feel like you are unworthy of love. It has taken me a few years to realize my worth. I remember one time looking at myself in the mirror and having no clue who was staring back at me. You move through the motions every day, you tell people you are fine and not to worry, you hide stuff from your family. Then one day you wake up and think enough! To realize that someone’s words and actions should not hold power over me made me fearless. I am not powerless as I once felt. I am strong, I am a survivor, I am a believer. To all the women that are viewing this page and debating whether they should become involved with AHR or not, my advice would be to do it, take this opportunity for help. It may not feel like a huge step or the drastic life change you so desire or need, but it is one small step in the right direction. No one ever said my dreams came true by not taking some leap of faith.
Hello! My name is Gina Hluska. I hope that you find with and in Christ you find the same Hope, Healing and Happiness that I did... And that you so deserve.
My story is not one of uncommon ground to many victims and survivors of DV. I was 20 years old when I met my first husband. We were married after only 7 Months of dating. Literally days after being married the abuse started. At first, it was just the verbal abuse. I say "just" because fast forward a few months later and a little one in utero and it escalated to the full-blown emotional, verbal and physical abuse cycle. I had never experienced anything like that in my childhood. I knew it wasn't right. The initial attempt to leave then resulted in punishment and threats of my life, and the life of my unborn daughter, to be ended. So, I stayed and endured this vicious cycle of behavior for 10 years. I felt like such a failure 1) for being a victim and 2) for my attempt to leave failing. I always thought that a marriage was a covenant with God not to be taken lightly. That couples work through their problems. That if I loved harder, was more obedient or a "better wife, mom or employee" it wouldn't happen. That was the farthest from the truth. The episodes became more and more frequently. It was not until my son, then 3 years old, looked up me one morning while watching 'Sesame Street' and asked "Mommy, why didn't you call the police on Daddy last night?" that I knew I had to leave. It would be better for them to have no father in their lives than an abusive one. I started hiding tips from my 3rd job as a bartender. Yes, my husband "couldn't work" due to an "injury" to his foot. I worked 3 jobs to keep our family afloat. Anyhow, I waited until he left in our on vehicle to go feed horses at the racetrack and called an acquaintance from the track to pick up me and the kids up. I loaded 2 changes of clothes from each child, a favorite toy and our kittens into carry-on bags and left. It wasn't until the plane was in the air that I cried my first breath of relief. Tears streamed down my face again once we touched ground in Colorado. The kids and I were finally going to be safe in the surroundings of my family. This was what "starting anew" felt like... Or so I thought. I went through all the proceedings and was awarded 100% custody and decision-making for the children. Things were looking up. I started a new job, enrolled the kids in school and met a new beau. I was very untrusting at first. We treaded lightly. He was handsome, sweet and treated my children so well. We dated for a year and got engaged. After being engage for a year, we were married. And like the first, only days after being married the abuse began. Things were eerily similar. Only this time the episodes began. To progress quickly. We tried counseling. Then, he just stopped going altogether. I decided that in the best interests of the children and my own well-being, it would be best to call it before it progressed any further.
After my second divorce I was in an all time low. I felt like a was damaged. I just knew something was wrong with me. I got into modeling and started dating again. I was staying out late on weekends when I should've been home with my kiddos. I soon learned that I was pregnant with my daughter. I was already having a hard time making ends meet on my own income because the children's father wasn't paying child support. Then, to add the news of my daughter was so scary to me. When her father learned of the pregnancy he decided he wanted nothing to do with her. It wasn't until my daughter was a few months old that I reached my breaking point. I was at my ultimate low. I felt as though things couldn't possibly get worse. It was struggling financially, I was not where I wanted/needed to be in my business and I was in it alone. After I put the kiddos to bed one night I decided to do something I wasn't even sure I knew how to do... I prayed. Praying turned into a long night of crying turned to sobbing out to God asking him to change things, to change me. I swore that if He would just help me out of this "place" I was in that I would owe Him for the rest of my life. That night I fell asleep crying and surrendering everything to God. When I woke in the morning, with eyes swollen and all I knew, I felt it was all going to be okay. That was the first day of the rest of my life. That week, I received a check in the mail for monies due me due to a financial oversight. All my bills got paid that month. No robbing Peter to pay Paul. I met some great neighbors and the kids and I were invited to church. It was at that service that the pastor announced a new class being that would be offered in the weeks to come. It was a class for victims and survivors of DV. I felt as if he was talking directly to me. How could he know?! I signed up. Walking into the church that first night my heart was pounding. My head was loaded with so many thoughts... Would they think I was crazy? Was what I went through really THAT bad? Did anyone really care? Man, walking through those doors that night, meeting Katie Graves and the rest of the women in the group, changed my life... Forever. That day and every day since then I have experienced miracle after miracle. I am now married to the man of my dreams, am surrounded by wonderful, inspiring people and get to live everyday KNOWING that God has got this... All of it. That He lives in me and through me. Ugh, I write this in tears... That little girl conceived out of wedlock is my angel. I was headed in such a bad direction. Because of God in her my life has taken a totally different direction. And her Daddy adopting her was the best gift yet. My story has many different aspects between the lines that you wouldn't believe. All of which are proof that you are never too broken, too dirty or too unclean for God to completely transform your life too.
After the murder of my daughter Tara, my mind was in a whirlwind. She left behind 3 children, which I was caring for, trying to keep myself together and yet grieve also. I met Doris Rivera-Black. She was at the sheriff's dept then, and she wanted to do a fund raiser for the boys, in honor of Tara and to raise awareness of Domestic Violence. Ironically, when Doris tried to connect with me, we discovered we both attended PPCC. After that, wheels just started rolling and everything seemed to fall into place. (The Lord's doing no doubt). I attended Grief Share and also All Hope Restored. It was therapeutic in allowing myself to hear this women's stories, and to tell them my story as a survivor. There are so many warning signs that I was unaware of, and AHR is place of confidence; you can share your fears, your joys, and have someone walk along side of you no matter what your decision, to stay, to leave. One thing I know, sharing your story is hard, but it is worth the healing that incurs.
I heard about All Hope Restored when it was announced during a church service, I felt God urging me to go. I was in a 5 year marriage where I was emotionally, mentally, verbally and sexually abused. Trying to leave the relationship was the most terrifying time in my life. Until I took AHR I had no idea I had lived in a domestic violence situation, I always thought that it was just a bad relationship. For 10 years I believed his lies that the way he acted and the things that he did was my fault. Taking AHR showed me that he demonstrated almost every single characteristic of an abuser and it wasn’t my fault. It was very scary to share my story after so many years but the healing that came from it was so freeing. Katie and Doris have created an amazing class where it was safe to tell my story and I met some amazing survivors. I thank God that he led me to AHR where I received healing after so many years, I would strongly recommend this class to all victims and survivors.
All hope restored has been amazing. The curriculum is well thought out and easy to understand. I especially loved the hope statements at the end of every lesson. Being able to lean on women who have also experienced domestic violence has brought so much healing into my life and my children's lives. Knowing that I'm not alone and God is on my side, and having the love and support of all the ladies from all hope restored has been empowering. I've had the strength to make many positive changes and take steps to protect myself and my child from any further abuse. I was able to find my voice and learn how to share my story!