Juan’s Story

Juan is a young immigrant man who came to the U.S. with a dream like many others. He wanted to work hard to help his family in his home country and one day open a profitable business and have a family of his own.

Juan met Maria through a friend, and they quickly started a romantic relationship. Soon after, Maria became pregnant, and they got married. After Maria gave birth, she wanted to go out partying “because she still had to have a life” and would leave the baby with Juan. Maria would come home drunk, sleep late and not want Juan to ask her anything about her male friends and her partying. She began insulting and calling Juan nasty names because he couldn’t stay with the baby all the time. Maria became pregnant again and things got worse. She wanted more freedom, but Juan had to work longer hours to sustain a bigger family.

After giving birth to the second baby, Maria started doing drugs and bringing random people to the house. Juan arrived home one day to find several people drinking and doing drugs in front of the children. When Juan confronted Maria about the situation, she smacked him on the face, asked him to leave and threatened to call the police and ICE and not let him see the children again if he didn’t do what she asked. Juan left for several hours but returned because he was worried about the children.

The next day, he took the children to the park and upon returning home found Maria in bed with another man. The man left and Maria started hitting and scratching Juan and ripping his clothes. Juan begged Maria to let him leave because he didn’t want to hit her, but she continued blocking the exits and telling Juan to just hit her. Maria laughed when Juan said he would call the police. She said that she was a U.S citizen and a woman and that the police would not believe him and arrest him instead. Juan was very afraid because he believed that if he called the police, they would deport him and he would never see his children again. Maria continued with the insults and threats, so Juan took the risk of calling the police. Once the police arrived, they arrested Maria when they saw Juan’s scratches and ripped clothes and suggested that he file an order of protection.

A friend referred Juan to CasaLuz where he was informed about his rights and helped with creating a safety plan. CasaLuz also assisted him with filing an order of protection and referred him to a partner for immigration assistance.

A few months later Juan was divorced and obtained shared custody of the children. He recently received his work permit and is waiting on his green card. Juan attends counseling sessions at CasaLuz and is very grateful for CasaLuz’s support at a time of great need. Before reaching out to our office he felt ashamed and scared. He now feels liberated and supported and knows that he is working with an organization that has his back and has empowered him to move on with his life looking towards a brighter future for himself and his children.

Juan often talks to his advocate and reminds her of how lost he was and how happy he feels now. He feels that CasaLuz is his “safe place.”

Names have been changed to protect identity.