This is part of a series of articles focused on the area nonprofit community and the impact on our region.

NewStory Center works to end the cycle of violence through support, education, prevention and collaboration with all the people and communities of Rutland County.

Walking into the courtroom is scary. Standing in front of a judge is frightening. Speaking your truth, just feet away from your abuser, is terrifying. Alex knew that a Relief from Abuse Order (RFA) was what they needed to help keep themselves safe. Law enforcement had recently been at their home and reinforced to Alex that the situation was getting increasingly dangerous. The officer had connected Alex with an advocate at NewStory Center, who had explained what their options were, but it was all so scary. There were so many unknowns and the idea of having to be in the courtroom with their abuser was just too much. With the support of their NewStory Center advocate, Alex gained the strength to complete the RFA application and attend the final hearing. The Advocate had prepared Alex for what to expect and would even be in the courtroom to answer questions, provide support, and be a friendly face. Alex felt ready. They shared their story and answered the judge’s questions with confidence. Alex’s was granted a Final RFA, which meant that their abuser was legally required to stop abusing them and if not, could face criminal charges. A weight had been lifted for Alex and they could begin turning the page on violence.

NewStory Center is honored to support survivors like Alex as they work toward a life free of violence. In addition to court advocacy, NewStory Center offers a 24/7 crisis hotline, emergency housing, supportive case management, support groups and referrals to area resources. If you or someone you know needs assistance, NewStory Center can be reached by calling (802) 775-3232.

Provided by Jennifer Yakunovich, development director, NewStory Center.

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