A Survivor’s Story of Resilience and Courage

Alma has endured many trials in her life, one of them being domestic violence. The equanimity she shows reflects the strength of a survivor and a protective mother. Alma has worked her way through many obstacles in this country and she is still giving her best for her children and herself. When Alma and her husband arrived to the U.S. from Mexico, they were having many conflicts and unhealthy arguments. And after the birth of their first child, the abuse escalated to physical abuse. Alma realized that this physical and emotional abuse was affecting not only her but also her daughter who was witnessing the violence, and she made her first attempt to leave. Yet, leaving an abusive relationship is challenging and it took Alma several attempts before she permanently was able to leave her abusive relationship. She would endure the birth of her second child, a move to San Francisco, and much more emotional and physical abuse before she would be able to find her opportunity to leave the abusive situation and begin to survive and take care of her two children on her own.

When that time came, she sought out W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and began receiving therapy and case management through the Latina Program. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. also helped Alma find therapy for both her children and she began participating in Spanish support groups and her kids participated in Children’s group. With our agency’s support, Alma prepared her application for a U-Visa to receive a work permit and legal status. With our case manager, she filled out job applications, and found a safer home where she and her family could start their new life. She was also able to apply for public benefits such as CalFresh, MediCal, and cash assistance, and obtain Mexican passport at no cost for herself and her daughter.

Thanks to Alma’s courage and persistence to better her life and the lives of her children, her family is in a much healthier and happier space today. Her U-visa was approved and in two years they will have the opportunity to apply for a green card and residency. Her personal story showcases how difficult it can be for a survivor to leave an abusive relationship, and how important it is to have support services like those provided at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Today, Alma participates in our monthly Echando Pa’lante meetings where she has become an outspoken and active member. She is always willing to help other members with resources and emotional support. Both her children are successful students and happy kids, and she was able to get back to her passion: teaching dance classes. After a presentation by ALAS during an Echando Pa’lante meeting, she received information about how to start her own business, and now she has her own dance business offering classes to adolescents getting ready for their quinceaneras. Last month when Alma came to the Echando Pa’lante meeting and, as usual, her kids participated in the Children’s Group. Her daughter, now 9 years old, told us how proud she is of her mother. We at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. are also very proud of her and all of the accomplishments she has achieved in the last few years.

Please considering donating to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. so that we can continue to provide essential services to survivors like Alma. We rely on and appreciate your support.

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