Insights ~ August 2018


Open for Business

When Sarah came to SHALVA, she talked about her parents’ relationship, not realizing that she witnessed an abusive marriage as a child. This early experience taught Sarah to think that abusive relationships were normal, that this is how marriages and families were.  She never saw a healthy, loving relationship. Sarah believed her husband when he told her she was fat, “not good enough,” and that “no one will ever love you” because her father told her the same things growing up. Her reaction to her husband’s cruelty was to hide in her room or curl up in a ball and cry, just like she did as a little girl.

Over many years of work with her SHALVA counselor, Sarah eventually developed healthy coping skills so she no longer self-injured when overwhelmed. She learned to set firmer boundaries with her parents and ex-husband, to feel safer and more in control. And, for the first time in her life, she could identify the negative beliefs she had internalized about herself and challenge the validity of those beliefs.

Today, with the help of SHALVA, Sarah is the proud owner of her own business and her teenagers are thriving. Sarah now supports herself independently. Sarah recognizes there will always be triggers that challenge her sense of self but is hopeful for her future, and proud of her children who have grown up feeling loved and capable.

Sponsors Lay the Foundation for Healing

Our successful annual luncheon has been recognized in several news outlets around town including the Highland Park Patch, Daily NorthShore, Make it Better and Chicago Tribune. Over $200,000 has been raised to improve the lives of survivors of domestic abuse and to educate the community. Thank you to our 2018 luncheon sponsors and supporters including:

The Magic Power in your Shoes

Your running shoes will have magic in them when you join Run Domestic Violence Out of Town!

SHALVA is proud to again be participating with Run Domestic Violence Out of Town, a coalition of Chicagoland domestic violence agencies. Help raise money and awareness for domestic violence survivors by joining the team. Walkers and runners can still sign up for the Chicago Half-Marathon and 5K, both happening on Sunday, September 23.

This year, events are centered around Chicago’s historic Jackson Park, once home to the 1893 World Colombian Exposition. The course highlights Chicago’s historic south shore and features a traffic-free Lake Shore Drive. Participants traverse the streets through Hyde Park and the Museum of Science and Industry before taking on the north and south Lake Shore Drive lanes and finishing at the Statue of the Republic, better known as the “Golden Lady.” Runners and walkers receive a participant shirt commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the World Colombian Exposition, finisher medal (the largest in the Midwest!) and access to the legendary finish festival featuring a live concert, beer and more.

If you are not a runner, please consider volunteering the morning of the race instead.

To register and for more information, contact Samantha Spolter at



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