In first person: Rosa's story

“My name is Rosa and I spent 20 years with a man who repeatedly insulted me. When we arrived to New York from Mexico, I worked 12 to 17 hour days to make rent and pay the bills. He hardly ever worked, blaming me that he couldn't since someone had to watch the children. In September of 2008, he fractured my jaw, which had just been operated on in March for an injury he was responsible for 8 years before. When I went to the hospital, I was told that my jaw could not be operated on because it had not healed from the last operation. 

From there I went to a homeless shelter. It was very hard. I couldn't take my 5 children with me, only the youngest who were 6 and 14 years old. My children were appointed an attorney who then referred me to VIP. From the moment I arrived, VIP referred me to a group and a social worker who were supportive of me. In February, I received my working permit and filled out an application for Social Security. Shortly after, I started my job cleaning hotels.

I'm happy because VIP helped me a lot and I realized that it is possible to move past domestic violence. Hopefully, as a Promotora in the Adelante Mujer program, I can convince other battered women to seek help. I advise them to have faith and confidence because as women they can move forward. I put myself as an example, I lasted 20 years in abuse and I was able to move ahead. There is always help available as long as you want it. If you believe in God and have faith, anything is possible in life, only death has no solution.”