Submitted by Labulter on Mon, 10/19/2020 - 21:22

Throughout my first couple weeks of service with Illinois JusticeCorps, I found language barriers to be a huge reason for why people stay in difficult marriages. During my second week, I met this woman who only spoke Urdu. She was forced into a marriage years ago and since then, was continuously abused by her husband. This woman was the first person that I translated for during my year of service. Unfortunately, she arrived too late in the day to work with one of the attorneys we assist. I instructed her to return the next day in the morning, and we would be able to help her out. When she returned the next morning, she told me about the excessive questioning from her husband about her leaving so early in the morning, how he beat her, and how she just needed out of her marriage. When we got her inside, I helped translate for the attorney, and we helped her fill out all the paperwork and find housing for after she filed her paperwork. I then went with her to the clerks to help file all the documents and go to the Sheriff's Office to make sure her husband would get served. I am now in my second term with Illinois JusticeCorps, and, to this day, I can remember in detail everything this woman said to me and the prayers she gave me after we had completed everything she needed done. She emphasized how she had been trying to start this process for over a year, and how without me, she would probably still be trying for another couple years. This woman made me understand the extent to which we are able to assist people. It also made me realize that my fluency in Urdu was an asset, one that I never thought I would use here. It was this experience, this woman, that made me realize this organization's importance and the importance of my contribution.