Natalie came to the U.S. from Russia in Feb 2006 with her 16 year old daughter after marrying her U.S. husband. Her husband treated her poorly since they arrived in the U.S. He treated them like slaves, denied them food, and would even threaten deportation. The daughter often stayed with friends she met at school because she was afraid of him. Her husband filed for divorce after learning that Natalie was trying to get help. Natalie came to Sarah's Friends searching for assistance. Since Natalie did not speak English, the Sarah's Friends advocate and the Legal Aid attorney met with Natalie using Language Line for interpreter services. After an interview lasting more than two hours, Natalie cried and said it was the first time she was able to talk to anyone about her situation since she came to the U.S. A local attorney represented her pro bono. Legal Aid helped Natalie identify issues which were addressed through the divorce. Natalie received spousal support for herself and her daughter due to her reliance on her husband's sponsorship when she came to the U.S. Legal Aid will be filing a Self Petition for Battered Spouse for Natalie with immigration.
Lacy was pregnant when her husband physically assaulted her. He was arrested for domestic violence by Williams County law enforcement. Lacy obtained a protection order and worked with Sarah's Friends for support. An advocate with Williams County Victim Assistance helped her with the criminal case. An on-site attorney with Legal Aid assisted her with filing for a protection order and a divorce. After Lacy's husband violated the protection order, he was ordered to serve six months in jail. Sarah's Friends provided safety planning, danger assessment and ongoing assistance to Lacy. She has food, family, and support.
"Sarahs Friends staff and all of the anonymous helpers: Thank you for all of your help and support when my family has needed it the most. It gives me hope to know so many strangers are willing to help one another."
"Sarah's Friends helped me get an apartment for my children and I to live when we needed it most. It was a blessing! We are taking things day by day and life is much better!"
"They helped me out of a situation I felt helpless in. I started my new life thanks to Sarah's Friends. Every day since then has been a blessing."
"I would have never gotten where I am today without Sarah's Friends!"
In Spring of 2017, Sarah's Friends was nominated and selected as the organization recipient of the Northwest State Foundation Making a Difference Award. This video showcases the programs offered as well as client testimony. (Sarah's Friends portion starts at 29mins).