When I was little my father would abuse me and my mother watched. When I finally got the courage to come forward I told the only family I could trust who was 1300 miles away. From that moment on I never I returned home. I spent days and years in court rooms looking my dad in the eye hoping he would say he’s sorry. I eventually won the case but foster care was the best for me at the time so I ended up getting adopted and living that life style.

At least once a year he would fight and try to get a retrial, he gets denied every year. This all came out when I was 12, I’m now 21 and my life is such a mess that I moved the 1300 miles to be with family. To try and be okay because I was far from okay. I went college up north and tried living on my own and doing me own thing but it never worked I always kept falling. Moving to Florida was a big change and I’ve been here a month and looking at some men still makes my heart sink and I still panic when people get too close. I was in a committee for foster youth for years giving speeches and mentoring others, but I still never took my own advice. I spent the last year and a half couch surfing and beyond broke because my fears won over me.

Coming here I hope to grow and learn and make something of myself so one day I can help others and show them it gets better.

Story submitted by Courtney