Cycles are seemingly never-ending chains of repetitive events and can be difficult to break – especially alone. In domestic abuse cases, there are a variety of variables that contribute to the cycle, but nonprofit organization House of Sueños is working to change that.
The organization works to provide the essential basics to single mothers who have experienced domestic abuse. Services such as community housing, education, employment guidance, and counseling are all available to the mothers.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women experiences domestic abuse in their lifetime, and women between ages 18 to 24 are the most common age group abused by a partner.
The fact of the matter is that leaving an abusive environment isn’t always an easy choice. According to Domestic Violence Roundtable, there can be many reasons someone chooses to stay. For instance, there’s the belief that abusers will eventually feel guilt about their actions. Feelings of helplessness, responsibility, and a lack of financial independence are also possible reasons that a victim may remain in a violent environment.
What can result from either staying in the cycle or leaving without the proper resources is homelessness, child abuse, juvenile delinquency, and trauma.
“The purpose is to break the cycle of abuse,” said Mary Lou Mazzone, House of Sueños’ development director. “One thing I hear a lot is we want to empower moms. It’s important because children learn from their example. Let’s talk about childhood trauma and heal it to not re-traumatize children.”
The nonprofit began in 2014 and has since expanded to two property sites in Hollister, CA. There, mothers and their children are able to stay for an unlimited amount of time. They are provided a private room as well as group and individual mental health counseling for them and their children.
“We normalize mental health care,” said Suenia Romero, the nonprofit’s founder and executive director. “We want women to know they aren’t alone in their struggles.”
With the nonprofit’s help, mothers learn to develop self-confidence and validation by having access to education and employment resources.
A prevalent issue Sueños is tackling is the financial situation victims are in after leaving their abuser. NCADV states that between 21 and 60 percent of domestic violence victims lost their jobs because of reasons stemming from the abuse.
The nonprofit provides women with employment guidance and resources and also alleviates the stress of finding an affordable and comfortable place to stay.
Not only that, but Sueños offers women the chance to take back their lives. They have the freedom to choose and exercise full control of how they move past the trauma and where they’re going. More importantly, they can begin to rebuild for the sake of their children’s future.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter