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Boys Town Texas Helps Abuse Survivor Shed Fear to Give Family Peace and Hope

Brynn doesn’t remember the first time her husband slapped her around. She just knows it was a long time ago.

During their three-year marriage, the couple had many “misunderstandings.” Some left Brynn severely bruised and afraid. Others shattered her self-esteem. When the beating or the berating was over, her husband was quick with an apology and an excuse – job stress, her stupid nagging or the “damn kids.”

He laid blame wherever and on whomever he could. But it was never on him.

After one particularly vicious argument, a neighbor phoned the police. The call eventually led to an investigation by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Out of fear, Brynn wasn’t ready to reveal the abuse, and her husband claimed the incident was merely a marital spat.  Brynn did however, acknowledge feeling overwhelmed trying to care for her rambunctious sons, who were 4 and 2.

That admission led to a referral to Boys Town Texas and its In-Home Family Services program. A Boys Town Family Consultant soon began meeting with family, mostly with Brynn and her boys. Dad was always “away” or took off as soon as a home visit started.

Working one-on-one, the Consultant taught Brynn a number of parenting strategies to ease the stress and second-guessing caring for toddlers can create. Together, they practiced how to correct the boys’ misbehaviors, use Time-Out as a consequence, provide positive attention and praise, and set appropriate boundaries. The Consultant also helped Brynn teach her sons basic social skills such as sharing and asking permission, and identified local resources the family could tap into for additional help, including counseling.

The intervention was a transformative experience for Brynn.

As the weeks passed she became more trusting and comfortable with her Boys Town Consultant. Brynn’s confidence grew when she saw her sons respond positively to her new parenting style. The boys became better listeners, followed her instructions and stopped their severe tantrums.

Seeing her children succeed helped Brynn realize she was capable of changing her situation, too. Brynn found the courage to admit the truth about her marriage – it was an abusive, destructive relationship. For everyone’s safety, she and her sons had to get out.

Although the goal of In-Home Family Services is to strengthen and reunify families, some families just can’t live happily together. With the support and guidance of her Boys Town Consultant, Brynn and her boys were able to move into a safe house. Today, she is separated from her abuser, and the family lives in a stable, peaceful home.

Once scared and tormented by threats and secrets, Brynn now brims with optimism. She’s even gone back to school to improve her employment opportunities and gain financial independence.

Brynn credits Boys Town for giving her the strength, courage and skills to embrace a new life with her sons… one they all can live honestly, fearlessly and happily.

The stories provided about the children and families in our care are real. In some cases, names may be changed and details altered to protect their privacy and therapeutic interests.