Cindy Gavello knew about the fears and anxiety of domestic abuse long before she became a volunteer to help victims.
Twenty-five years ago, her husband hit her, yelled at her and limited her contact with neighbors and friends out of jealousy, said Gavello, 49.
He also dictated her clothing and makeup choices, and controlled money so tightly that the former Nordstrom store shopper had to buy clothes at a thrift store.
She said she slept uneasily at night, afraid her husband would wake up and explode with rage.
Gavello fled to the safety of the Tri-Valley Haven shelter in Livermore, and she says it helped her turn around her life. Now she is a volunteer there.
“I never want someone to go through the misery that I did. I want to break the cycle,” said Gavello, a grandmother of eight now happily re-married. “I needed a safe place to find my strength again. Tri-Valley Haven provided that.”