With a limited income and scarce resources, Caratina supported her husband and their two young children. She met her husband shortly after moving to the U.S. A few years into their marriage, her husband began to physically, emotionally, and financially abuse her. Isolated from relatives, afraid of deportation, challenged by language barriers, Caratina tried to make it work.

One fall night, police responded to an abusive incident at Caratina’s home. They connected Caratina to STAND!’s 24-hour multilingual crisis line. She and her children were taken to a safe place for the night and then moved into our shelter the next morning.

Caratina found security, comfort, and resources with help from dedicated and skilled staff at The Rollie Mullen Center, which was a safe haven for her family. She was able to communicate with her Spanish-speaking advocate and work with a STAND! domestic violence liaison who partnered with Bay Area Legal Aid to help Caratina obtain her U-Visa. Caratina and her family also participated in therapy and staff helped her secure transitional housing so that the family could begin to rebuild their lives and find stability, free from abuse.

As any parent would understand, seeing your children happy and carefree is of utmost importance. Caratina credits the staff for making this possible despite all the changes that their family was going through. “The staff at STAND! have been supportive, friendly, and respectful, making it a safe place for the kids to play and for us to bond as a family.”

Beneath Caratina’s soft-spoken exterior lies a truly courageous woman, a survivor of vast and unimaginable challenges and a pillar of strength for her family. The services that she found at STAND! complemented Caratina’s resolve to move forward and brought hope for a peaceful future.