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Individual Success Story


“Some people will test you. Some will use you. Some will bring out the best in you. But everyone will teach you about yourself.” 

Twenty years ago, when Julia* arrived at Fresh Start as a physically and mentally abused wife in an abusive marriage to a drug addicted husband, she was in survival mode and needed to regain control of her life and thrive once again.  

“I came here with all those problems, and I went to support groups for abused women and survivors of domestic violence. There are different situations that present themselves in your lifetime and Fresh Start can answer some of those things,” she recalled.  

Julia related to many of the problems other Fresh Start women dealt with. The support groups taught her that there is a purpose for everyone we meet. 

“Some people will test you. Some will use you. Some will bring out the best in you. But everyone will teach you about yourself,” Julia said, noting that we are all connected in some way or another. 

Because Julia dealt with a husband who was a malignant narcissist, one of the main takeaways she gleaned from her support groups was how to set boundaries with other people. 

“Like everything else, you have ideas about what you should do in your head,” Julia mused. “But to apply it, it’s really hard, because I tend to be forgiving and give people chance after chance.”  

With Fresh Start’s support through the Social Work team and the Personal Empowerment Series, Julia made impactful healthy strides forward in her life.  

“I still try to learn from my classes that I took at Fresh Start and put it into action,” she said. 

Julia said she feels like she has come full circle with Fresh Start, even attending the Fresh Start Gala, and she wants to give back however she can. Her biggest message to other women is that there is hope for a better future. 

“And with this, hope to everyone, hope in all the forces that make for a better world,” Julia smiled as she recited one of her favorite quotes. “None is as powerful as hope. With hope one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything.” 

We honor and celebrate Julia’s courage and resilience. Fresh Start empowers survivors of domestic and sexual violence to regain control in their life by providing access to post-crisis resources and support. 

With one-on-one guidance, survivors will engage in goal-setting that allows them to address their needs, prioritize safety, access services, and create opportunities to move from a place of surviving to thriving.