“My life had become a nightmare…” she said. A.S is a single mom of four children, who lives under a protection order against her husband provided by a court decision. Her story begins with her getting married to a violent husband. She has suffered physical, psychological, sexual, and economic violence since they were first married. Due to the physical violence and threats, she was forced by her husband to have 2 abortions. Her children are victims of domestic violence as well. Two of her daughters and her son have been married at a young age. She is living with her youngest son in a small house in poor conditions. As a victim of domestic violence, she was provided with protection by the court decision. Due to this, she and her husband no longer live together.
A.S found herself without support. She had a friend, a good neighbour, who after listening to her story, told about the services at the MWL ACT Center (Advice Center Tirana). Once she approached the centre, she addressed the need to be supported with legal aid in order to proceed with a divorce. She was confident in this decision but knew that she couldn’t do it alone. While working hand in hand together with her, assessing her needs and planning an individualized programme for her, she brought up many other issues for which she did not consider before. Due to health issues, her employment options are very limited. In the meantime, she does not receive any benefits from social services. Her situation has never before been considered as a serious issue, therefore she felt alone and hopeless. She started to believe that there is no hope for changing her life for the better. Considering everything carefully together, she gained hope and started to feel supported and gained self-confidence. She has been supported with emergency response packages, referral to health care, legal aid, advice, and referral to free services according to her needs. Step by step, A.S is going through the process of recovery and reintegration.