Have you ever had to start over? Have you lost a job, a relationship, or a home—or had to flee from one? Did you ever worry that you didn’t have the strength to rebuild and keep moving forward? Perhaps you had to start over in an even more fundamental way, like the survivors living at Casa Myrna’s Transitional Living Program (TLP). These courageous people trade everything for a chance at a future without violence. After enduring 16 years of abuse, Fatou became one of these brave women.
In 2000, Fatou and her husband left Senegal to build a new life in the United States. Fatou dreamed of graduating from college and starting a career as an attorney. But in the face of her husband’s physical and emotional violence, she had to use all her strength just to get through each day. The abuse was unrelenting until one night in 2011, when Fatou called Safe-Link. She and her eleven-year-old daughter Anna were admitted that night to an emergency shelter.
A month later, Fatou and Anna arrived at TLP to begin the long process of starting over. Fatou told herself to “keep busy, keep your head up, and work on your future.” She met with Casa Myrna Advocates daily, planned for life after TLP, restarted the college classes her husband had demanded she give up, worked out and swam with Anna at the YMCA, found a job at a restaurant, and volunteered at Anna’s school and a food pantry. “The Advocates at Casa Myrna didn’t just give me a bed,” explains Fatou. “They helped me put the puzzle back together.”
In 2014, Fatou and Anna moved from TLP to their own home in a quiet suburb outside of Boston. Since then, Fatou says, “life has been good, thank God. I’m living my life and realizing my dreams.” After she completes her BA in global studies, Fatou plans to enter law school and to help better the lives of people around the world as an international human rights advocate. Meanwhile, before entering high school this fall, Anna will travel to Latin America for a “soccer and service trip” where she will improve her soccer game and volunteer with local children. For 16 years, all of Fatou’s strength was spent on surviving abuse. Now, Fatou uses that strength to create a more just, peaceful and joyful world for herself, for Anna, and for people everywhere.
When you support Casa Myrna’s work, you are lending your strength to survivors like Fatou so that they can rebuild new lives after abuse. Thanks to supporters like you, since 1981 TLP has witnessed hundreds of survivors empower themselves and lay the foundations for brighter futures.