“Working with SARJFON has given calmness to my life.They care about me as a person, not just a client.”

Rachel had it all – a great career as a nurse, fun, dependable friends and a close-knit family in New Zealand. But, she was in love and couldn’t imagine life without this adoring American man. She left everything behind to be with him in the United States. Rachel’s nightmare began once she began making friends and building a life for herself that wasn’t dependent upon her husband.

The once loving man routinely told Rachel she was a disappointment as a wife and would go days without talking to her.  He began to control what she did, who she saw and her access to their money.

The emotional and verbal abuse was endless. He used the threat of deportation over her weekly. One day, Rachel learned he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account – a joint account to which she had placed her life savings. She had nothing left.

Knowing his actions were becoming more and more unstable, Rachel left everything she moved with to the United States and sought safety at a woman’s shelter. There, she learned about San Antonio Region Justice For Our Neighbors.

Rachel’s faith in people was restored when she learned she qualified for low-cost legal representation thanks to the generosity of SARJFON supporters – generosity that saved her from enduring continued emotional abuse and control.

SARJFON’s legal team helped Rachel apply for protection from deportation through the Violence Against Woman’s Act. Now Rachel can continue the process toward permanent residency she had started when she first arrived – but had been halted by her abusive and controlling husband.

Thanks to SARJFON supporters, Rachel is excited to continue building her life in the United States as a single, independent woman!