In many ways, Jane’s life in Kenya was idyllic. She was an educated, confident professional woman with a flourishing career. She owned her own perfume business, and was four months into a prestigious new job in the banking sector. She was an active member of a close-knit church community, and she was raising a daughter she dearly loved, whom she had named “Angel” after her miraculous recovery from infant health problems.
There was only one problem in her life: her husband. In the privacy of their home, he had become increasingly violent and abusive.
When her husband deliberately burned their four-year-old daughter’s hand, and then brutally beat Jane and tried to strangle her, she realized that he was truly capable of killing her. She knew that he had powerful connections, and could find her anywhere in Kenya. Using a tourist visa she had obtained to visit her brother in the U.S. later in the year, she and her daughter quickly booked a flight to Boston, with no long-term plan.
After landing, Jane took her daughter directly to the Boston Children’s Hospital to have the dressing changed on her burned hand. There, a social worker put her in touch with Greater Boston Legal Services.