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In search of a better life for me and my children.

Organized by: Shatara Thomas

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THE STORY:

I'm a single mother of three children, currently living in Florida. As a young girl I was abandoned by both my mother and father. My grandmother raised and provided for me as best she could while I was growing up. After graduating high school I went on to further my education, and being the first of all my siblings and cousins to start college. While being in college, I met a guy that later became my biggest nightmare. We dated for a few years and seemed to be very happy and in love. We moved in together after a few years of dating, and started a family. As time went on my boyfriend started to abuse me. Years went by, and I started to feel worthless, as if I weren't good enough for anyone. The abuse got worse and it became even harder to escape from him because he'd threatened to hurt my children. I filed several police reports and nothing was done to help me nor my children. Before the passing of my grandmother. I knew I needed to seek help for me and my 3 children, so I secretly received advice from my grandmother knowing I could possibly end up in more trouble. During the stages of my grandmother being ill due to ALS-(Lou Gehrig’s Disease), she often questioned the safety of me and my children. She advised me to leave and live in a shelter where I would be safe from him. After a few failed attempts, and a few broken bones I was finally able to escape the nightmare. We are finally free. In my heart this is all I ever wanted, those 6 years in abuse felt like a lifetime. As of now I'm still in school, and thankfully I only have a few years until I receive my PHD in International Global Studies. However it's very hard for me and my children right now, and after leaving their father I have no car or place to live. The shelter won't guarantee us a bed every night, so we have to try and make it back in time so that we can stand in line to receive a bed. We wake up very early in the morning, to catch the bus. Which gets the children to school and myself to and from work. Knowing I can't live like this forever, I contacted my school and received help and resources from a counselor. After a few applications, I was recently offered a full scholarship to attend a major university, that I've always wanted to attend in another state. I'm so happy and thankful. I was able to get help in finding another job as well as a place to live near the school I will be attending, however we don't have anything. Please help me and my children make a new life from here. Anything you can do to help make a difference in our life. We have been through so much and we still have our heads held high. Thank you for taking the time out to read my story. I would love to share my journey with others, and in the future mentor women about the affects of domestic abuse. The Thomas Family

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Shatara Thomas

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