(Photo: Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)
When Andrea Brooks decided to get away from her abusive husband 23 years ago, she picked up the phone and dialed the operator.
“Out of desperation, I picked up the phone and dialed zero, and I said, ‘I need a domestic violence shelter,’ ” she said.
It had been several months leading up to that phone call: She had moved four times, including cross-country to Florida, and had run out of friends to stay with. That phone call connected her with what became her salvation: Tri-Valley Haven.
She left her abusive husband on November 11 — Veteran’s Day to everyone else, but to her, it was her independence day.
“When I went into the shelter … no one knew where I was. Thank God. Because for the first time in nine months, he couldn’t reach me by phone, he couldn’t reach me physically. He couldn’t harass anyone I was living with,” she said.