Sophie’s story begins during her father’s own childhood and the verbal and emotional abuse his parents heaped on him. When he was diagnosed with ADHD his parents just gave up on him; he was emotionally abandoned.
Flash forward many years to a family dynamic that was far worse than abandonment. He was verbally and emotionally abusive to his wife–Sophie’s Mom. He started isolating her from her friends and family. He pushed and grabbed her-but never left marks where others might see. Like many abused women, she feared he would kill her if she left.
When Sophie was born with a deformity that left her legally blind in one eye, her Dad rejected her immediately. He made fun of her looks and said he did it to “toughen her up”. He threatened to throw the baby out the window. He talked continuously about getting a gun to kill them and was physically violent with Sophie almost daily to “discipline” her.
Sophie’s mom sought the support of her family and help from DVCAC. She used the agency’s Justice System Advocacy services to get a protection order, attended their support group and received counseling to help herself heal. Saving Sophie was a different story.
Sophie’s behavior had become a challenge as she could not control her emotions. She lashed out, bit and hit other children. She was only 3 and had no words to describe what she was feeling. Sophie’s healing began when her counselor at DVCAC used dolls to help express her emotions and gave her tools to deal with her anger and fear. Today Sophie is an outgoing, very verbal, intelligent 5 year old; she now has hope for a bright future.