HBCFL Client Testimonial

“Living in the Light–How the Harriett Buhai Center Helped Me Through My Darkest Time”

“In the year before I came to the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, my ex-husband created a second life for himself. He stayed out partying and left me to raise our kids while I worked full-time and went to school. He became very abusive and controlling. He changed all of the passwords on our home computer so I couldn’t finish my homework for my paralegal degree and his insults forced me to move out of our bedroom and into our kids’ room.

I finally had enough. With the little money I had, I hired a paralegal to help me, but when I went to the court to file my paperwork, the judge told me it was all wrong. I felt depressed and alone. I felt like I was in a box with nowhere to go. I was the first in my family to get a divorce and they didn’t understand what I was going through. The paralegal I had hired, stole my money. I thought I would never be able to break free.

Then, someone at court told me about the Harriett Buhai Center. I called immediately. When I went, I felt like someone listened to me for the first time. When I couldn’t talk to my parents or my friends about what was going on in my life, someone at the Harriett Buhai Center was there for me. They listened to me, guided me and handed me a tissue when I needed it.

The Harriett Buhai Center staff always asked about my children first, which made me feel really good because my children are my first priority too. The staff attorneys told me that part of my husband’s pension rightfully belonged to me, and that I deserved it for my future and my kids’ future. The Harriett Buhai Center fought very hard for me and helped get the support I had a right to.

With that support, I was able to pay my debts, buy a car, and move out of my parents’ apartment. My son was so excited that we finally had our own apartment that he made a video of us in our new home our first night there. I felt freedom and could breathe. I was able to give my kids stability and that was really important to me.

Now I feel like the world is mine. Just last year I decided to return to school. I just finished all of the classes for my Crime Scene Investigator certificate. I finally feel like I can do something for myself. And I’m not stopping there. I know my kids deserve more. I’ve done the math in my head, and by next year I can maybe afford a home. I even feel like I can help others now. When my friend told me about what she’s going through and that she needed help, I gave her the Center’s number. I said, ‘call them–they can help you. They helped me through my darkest time, but now I am living in the light.’

Thank you so much to everyone who supports the Harriett Buhai Center and makes their help possible.”