Survivor Story: Isabella’s Journey to Reclaiming Her LifeWritten by SAFE
Isabella was not a native of Austin. She had ventured to Texas from a different state, where she had married, unknowingly stepping into the dark world of trafficking. Her partner exploited her for financial gains, subjecting her to drug-induced stupors half the time. Isabella yearned to break free from this horrifying reality, so she took a drastic step, planting drugs on herself, hoping to be arrested and escape from her tormentor. Finally breaking free from her partner’s clutches, she sought refuge in a new town within Texas, determined to rebuild her life and stay clean and sober.
With only a few personal belongings and clothes to her name, Isabella sought a better life, one filled with respect and safety. And that’s when she discovered SAFE, a sanctuary that provided her with a secure environment. She cut all ties with her past and her abusive partner, finding support in her dedicated advocate. Isabella knew she needed to maintain her sobriety and secure a job to truly reclaim her life.
Every day, she scoured the job market, surrounding herself with positive influences, determined to succeed. The effort paid off when she secured a job that excited her, and she vowed to meet all the requirements to earn various rewards offered by her employer. Staying committed and avoiding any setbacks, Isabella was driven by the desire to prevent herself from slipping back into her old life.
Along the way, she encountered some setbacks like losing her purse, containing essential identification and documents, and battling lingering health issues. But Isabella never gave up; she sought help and persisted, keeping her end goal in sight. With her advocate’s survivor-focused assistance, she began her journey towards independence and self-sufficiency.
Knowing she couldn’t stay in the shelter indefinitely, Isabella diligently searched for apartments, applying and budgeting to secure a place of her own. With mutual accountability, they assessed her finances and goals, making tough decisions, yet always remaining true to her daily and life objectives. Finding clinics for her health needs and food pantries for sustenance, Isabella’s determination was unwavering.
Her patience was tested during the application process for the apartment she had set her heart on. But, with her advocate’s collaboration, they navigated through extra requirements, planning for emerging needs. The moment she received the approval for her apartment, it marked an incredible achievement, and they celebrated this triumph together.
With meticulous budgeting and savings, Isabella prepared herself for her new life in her own place. She was eager to embrace the fresh start and the healthier life she had fought so hard to achieve. Regardless of her troubled past, Isabella never surrendered to despair; she found her way out and embraced a better, brighter future.
If you are in need of any other SAFE services and are in a safe space to make a phone call, the free, confidential SAFEline can be reached at 512.267.SAFE (7233), or toll free at 1-877-384-9891. Chatline can be reached at www.safeaustin.org/chat. Textline can be reached at 1-737-888-7233. Hotline, chatline and textline are available 24/7.