Kristina’s ex-boyfriend broke into her apartment wielding a knife with which he threatened to kill her, then himself. When she shared details about the attack, she talked about the fear, the panic, the rage…but the theme she kept coming back to, was gratitude.
First she described the appreciation she had for the Coast Guard men upstairs who locked the door and stood guard while she shakily called the police. Then, with enthusiasm, she talked about the advocates from The Harbor who walked her through the next steps.
“They helped me get my belongings, offered to make phone calls to my family, put me up in a hotel and made sure I had safe transportation so my ex couldn’t recognize my car. ”
The Harbor, a United Way of Clatsop County Nonprofit Partner, provides advocacy, prevention and support while promoting self-determination and hope for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Kristina felt more vulnerable than she ever had after the attack, but she felt the competence of the advocates allowed her to relax into their care after the incident.
“I appreciated that the advocate who came to my house the night I was attacked also came to every court hearing. She was with me when I was scared, when I was nervous about testifying, when I had to recount the story in front of the court. Her support, all the way through the final court hearing, put me at ease and made me feel comfortable.” Kristina smiled and dreamily looked off in the distance. ” I don’t know where the advocate is now, but I wish I could see her, tell her I survived, that I’m ok and l am telling my story so others can know about resources are available to keep them safe too.”
The Harbor provides its services completely free and confidentially. Their staff believe individuals are the experts of their own needs, and are ready to listen and help survivors navigate to a place of safety. This was Kristina’s experience, for which she is immensely grateful.
For more information about The Harbor, visit theharbor.org/home