Their Story

These brave women shared their stories with us. If their story sounds a bit like yours, please reach out to us today. 180 can help you like we helped them. We understand that the holidays can be an especially vulnerable time for families and 180 Turning Lives Around is here for you. 1.888.843.9262


Jennifer stayed at 180’s Safe House

Dear Friends of 180,
Warm winter greetings from 180 Turning Lives Around!
This Holiday Season, I would like for you to meet Jennifer. Her name and identifying details have been changed to protect her for purposes of this story, but her experience with us is real. Her life forever changed for the better because of individuals like you who choose to support our mission. You make her story, and so many more like hers, possible. It is especially important for us to say thank you during this holiday season and to ask for your continued support on behalf of our neighbors in Monmouth County who will need our help in the coming year. Without you, we simply could not continue to change and save lives here in our community.
On behalf of the 180 Board of Trustees, staff and all of our survivor-families, we wish you a peaceful and safe new year.
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around
I came to 180 and stayed in their Safe House. I was pregnant with my first child. It wasn’t the first time he was violent, but this time he strangled me. I left him and found 180. The staff at the Safe House gave me the tools I needed to start anew. Safety and a place to stay at first, but the longer, more lasting benefits were the tools I was given to make sure that I lived a life free from abuse; self-confidence, inner strength, renewal and hope. These tools would set me free and would allow me to carve out a life away from him and safe for me and my baby. I gave birth while staying at the Safe House and thanks to 180 my son and I will be celebrating our first holiday together – on our own and safe. I will never forget my time with 180 and all of the guidance and support I received. While the first days of my motherhood were spent at 180’s Safe House, my infant and I were exactly where we were meant to be.
Jennifer’s story has been altered to protect privacy and safety. Names have been changed to preserve anonymity.

180 saved me

My mother and I stayed in the Safe House when I was 10. That was over twelve years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. She gathered up the courage to leave and we escaped our abuse once and for all. With a few belongings stuffed into suitcases and a large black trash bag of clothes, we fled. I was too young then to know all of the horrors of Mom’s life; as she did a good job protecting me from most, but not all of the violence. There were nights when I thought the screaming would never end and other nights when the silence was just too still. Fighting…arguments…hiding…her bandages. There was a darkness in our home, but mom and 180 changed all of that for me.
As I got older I learned that mom had spoken to 180 Court Advocates down at the Monmouth County Courthouse and she was able to obtain a restraining order. Meanwhile, 180’s emergency shelter kept us safe until mom found a better job and a place for us to live. As a child, I tackled the changes and challenges in our life by talking to 180 counselors. Also, mom and I took part in weekly creative arts therapy sessions for almost a year with the nicest and most caring staff. Little did I know then that this was 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program. The therapy helped me to cope with the changes in my family and the violence I had witnessed in our former home.
180 saved me. I’m not sure where mom and I would be now if it were not for 180. We never lost hope and 180 gave us the tools we needed to start anew. We continue to be optimistic about our future. Although 180 is part of our past, we will never forget…we carry them with us wherever we go.
Monmouth County
*names are changed to protect our survivors.