It all started back in 2010 when I got a divorce. I was a telecommunications executive that worked 60-hour weeks while I cared for my three young kids, ages 1, 2 and 6. My husband and I had relocated to the Dallas area, so we had no family there to help so It goes without saying that I was used to being very busy.
When the kids started leaving for the weekend, I didn’t know what to do with myself so I purged closets, cleaned behind the refrigerator, painted the kitchen, anything I could do to keep myself busy. When I ran out of chores, I decided to volunteer my time to keep from going crazy. I chose a small domestic abuse shelter near my home. When I went to orientation the first day, I expected for them to tell us all the things to not do but I wasn’t really prepared for what actually happened. For us to understand the psychological state of the families coming into the facility, they turned the lights off in the room and played a series of 911 calls. Each call more blood-curdling than the last. I heard small children screaming into the phone, “no, don’t hurt my mommy!”. I heard women trying to explain the situation through her uncontrollable sobbing, while yelling and what obviously was an effort to protect a child who is screaming bloody murder. I was mortified by what I was hearing.
I chose a job in the back office that reaches out to the survivors while their offenders are in counseling to see how their doing. The goal was to make sure their stories are the same. During this process I formed some pretty strong relationships and learned about the struggles they faced and the things that really made it hard for them to move on with their life independently. I also learned about the constraints in the space that made helping these survivors all but impossible!
If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a fixer. In my mind there is nothing that can’t be solved if you want it bad enough. And I decided that I was going to revolutionize the support systems from the ground up! The programs I envision are foundational in nature and will address all of the inadequate resources that are available today. These range from standing up the infrastructure to provide a common emergency number, like a 911, to re-integration training and work study programs that are subsidized by Angels Landing so that we can give these families a little more runway and support while they figure out how to support themselves.
While we are ramping up our operations, we are partnering with other organizations that are actively doing good work in this space. Including Lone Star Relief Fund, an organization committed to both disaster relief and domestic violence, and Kyra’s Champions that fights for the rights of children in the court system to prevent abuse proactively.
Read my next blog about how I found the name to understand why we are called Angels Landing.