Guadalupe is a college graduate from Venezuela who came to the United States with her first husband. They divorced and she got re-married to an American who was increasingly abusive to her during the course of their marriage. She was physically and psychologically abused. He had to know where she was at all times and often times he didn’t believe her when she told him. Finally, the day he called and threatened to kill her, she made an escape plan and left.
At one point, while they were still married, she went to go visit a friend in upstate New York and got pulled off a bus by ICE. She spent 20 days in immigration detention before being released. After she left her second husband, she moved into one of the VIP’s Safe Dwelling Apartments. After she left shelter, she continued to receive counseling and advocacy services at VIP’s Manhattan Compañeras where she worked with VIP staff to legalize her immigration status and take care of her other needs, since she had no legal way of earning income and no permanent place to live. In late December, Guadalupe received her work authorization card. Today, she is one of VIP’s first Promotoras with a real talent for using her experiences to help others in the community find domestic violence services.