In Her Own Words – Survivor Story

If it wasn’t for all the support I received from the Daybreak program I may still be in the abusive relationship that I found myself in several years ago.

It wasn’t hard to see how I got to that point. I grew up around abuse. Every woman in my family had been a victim. My great-grandmother, grand-mother, and my mother all quietly accepted that the abuse was just a part of their life.

When my step-father began to abuse and molest me and my brother, that too became just a part of our life.

It wasn’t until I had a son of my own that I began to realize that he deserved better, and so did I.

While his father abused me I had vivid memories of my mother’s bruised and bloody face, and the guns pointed at her head. I remember at 9 years old, jumping out the window to run for help.

The police officers would come to the door and tell my step-father to cool it, and that would be the end of it – until the next time.

When I found myself pregnant I decided that it would be best if we try to make a family together. But during my pregnancy the abuse started, and from there it escalated. I would make him leave, but he would always come back.

I reached out to my family, but they didn’t help. My mother told me to go back to him. To them it was just a part of life, and that was that.

But when my son was three months old I knew I had to leave, if not for me, then for him.

I found Daybreak, and Lynn my counselor. With their help I was able to leave. It was very difficult because I had nothing, and I had no support from my family. They stopped talking to me, and I had no where to go.

I was scared, and unsure, but Lynn gave me all the info, and materials I needed to find a way out. I wanted to make the right decision for my son, and I studied these materials, and figured out exactly what I needed to do.

My abuser went to jail, and my son and I moved on. I earned my GED and am currently going to school to become a respiratory therapist. I’ve worked through all my financial trouble, and we have a place of our own. I was the first person to go through the More Than Wheels program and now have a nice new car.

I don’t know where I would be without the YWCA. The system worked for me. It’s a battle, and an ugly process, but the result was worth it.

My baby is five years old now. He loves school, and reading books, and he just started playing basketball. He doesn’t know violence, and I hope that he never will.

Lynn tells me I’m an inspiration, and that it was my inner strength that got me away from the abuse, but I know that without her and the Daybreak program my story might be a lot different. I know that I am standing on this stage today because of her, and because of all of you who are here to support these programs that help people like me, and I can’t thank you enough.


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