Treasure Valley mom shares story of survival

Posted at 6:02 PM, Oct 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 11:18:41-04

Three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.

A Treasure Valley survivor of domestic violence is urging anyone in an abusive relationship to seek help as part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October).

Brenda Wann is successful at her job and able to support her household and children who are still living at home. She's in a spot now similar to where she was about ten years ago before she met her ex-husband.

Wann met him at church in a whirlwind of a courtship but after getting married and having two more children things changed. She says he got violent when he was drinking and was physically abusive toward her and some of her children on top of verbal threats and insults.

After finding out about the resources available through the Women's and Children's Alliance, she left for good.

"They missed their dad. They didn't necessarily understand everything," Wann said. "My older kids were afraid of him, they were terrified."

Experts say children react differently to such situations but that early intervention, especially when trauma is involved, can be powerful.

Some of the counselors at the WCA use child centered play therapy to gain insight.

"It's amazing to see the ways that they really use their play to communicate what's happening in their lives and in their worlds without a whole lot of direction," said Jackie Eisele, a licensed professional counselor. "So, I kind of reflect back to them what I'm seeing and you'll have these moments when kids look at you like... someone is listening to me... somebody knows what's going on."

Finances saved up or not, Wann urges anyone in an abusive relationship to consider reaching out to the WCA to create an exit plan.

"It will just keep going, it's a never ending cycle," Wann said. "And, it will go to your children and their children and so on. It's not going to change unless you stop it."

The WCA operates a 24-hour crisis hotline dedicated to domestic violence. That number is (208) 343-7025.