The young mother is nameless, faceless and standing right in front of you.
You don’t see her, of course. She’s just another stranger in the crowd, although if you look close enough you might just notice the curled half moons of stress forming around her eyelids, the puffy sleeplessness of her cheeks, the ashen look of hopelessness in the way she stares down the road.
She would reach out a hand for help but her hands are occupied: two infant boys — twins — who seemed to fall right out of the sky and into her arms.
“She got here,” said Kristina Ribali, “by escaping.”
Ribali has seen women like this before. Women who escape from one terror only to find themselves out on the streets, which is a terror in its own right. As a longtime advocate on behalf of women and families in crisis, Ribali has heard this story too many times. It begins with a woman who found a man only to have that man change before her eyes. He threatens her, his fist slam into her face, she bleeds on the floor. The infants are asleep in the other room. The man says he’ll never let her go. He’ll kill her if she leaves. And where would she go? With no family and no friends, who would take her in? Who would love her?
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