Snow was falling in the early morning hours Feb. 17 when Amy Windels made the decision to leave an abusive relationship. Instead of waiting for things to turn violent — again — she called police around 3 a.m.

“I was very scared,” she said. “I was a little fearful of making that decision in and of itself, but I did it anyway.”

She had figured she would sleep in her car that night — in the cold, with no money.

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