Situation: Orphaned at a young age, Trinette dreamed of having a family of her own. At 16, she discovered she was pregnant, and she thought her dreams had come true. She would have the family and life she always wanted.
Reality, however, had a different plan. After Trinette’s daughter, Tiara, was born, the baby’s father began to become verbally abusive toward Trinette. Increasingly, the verbal attacks became physical. The breaking point came when he attempted to push Trinette from a highway overpass.
“The violence escalated to the point where my life was in jeopardy,” says Trinette. “I knew I couldn’t continue to stay, but I didn’t know where to go. I had a child, I was very young, and I didn’t think I could make it on my own.”
The harrowing ordeal on the highway and living in continual fear became too much to bear. It was then Trinette attempted suicide.
“It was too much. I needed a way out, but I didn’t realize there was another way.”
How United Way helped: When Trinette awoke in the hospital after the suicide attempt, a social worker listened to her story and referred her to The Women’s Safe House, a United Way supported agency where Trinette and her daughter could receive shelter and work toward a fresh start.
The night Trinette left to go to The Women’s Safe House, she walked nearly a mile in the harsh winter cold with Tiara, a suitcase, a diaper bag and a car seat in tow. Although her journey to The Women’s Safe House was long, exhausting and dark, when she arrived, a staff member from The Women’s Safe House greeted Trinette and her daughter with a loving embrace.
In addition to shelter, food and clothing for herself and Tiara, Trinette took part in programs at The Women’s Safe House that helped with job training and self-esteem building.
“Because I was so young at the time, they worked with me to help find what it was that I might want to do with my life, and they helped me make a plan to get there. They let me know I didn’t have to settle for abuse.”
Trinette today: Trinette is the mother of three wonderful children, Tiara, Sean and Daniel. Tiara, 17, is a college-bound, A+ student who is considering Ivy League. Sean, 15, has been in his school’s gifted program for the past three years and would like a career in marketing management. Daniel, 3, is in pre-kindergarten; he’s a happy child who loves to be active and play.
During her own childhood, Trinette says she spent many happy times in the kitchen cooking with her grandmother. Today, Trinette harnesses her culinary talent in a career as a personal chef and the owner of her own thriving catering business.
“I love using my hands to create something that makes people happy. I come from a place of a lot of need, so to be able to give back is very fulfilling.”
During her time at The Women’s Safe House, Trinette received a checklist of what to look out for in a future relationship and how to recognize signs of abuse. Because she knew what to look for—and what to avoid—Trinette met a wonderful and caring man whom she eventually married.
Sadly, Trinette’s husband died of cancer, but she says his love and support during their marriage helped the couple raise three amazing children. Now, Trinette and her beautiful children are leading safe, happy lives in a home full of laughter and love.
“This is the life I envisioned. But if it weren’t for The Women’s Safe House, I would’ve never made it here. They truly saved my life.”
About The Women’s Safe House: The Women’s Safe House provides safe shelter and support services to battered women and their dependent children and to empower women to make informed choices about their futures. All services are free and confidential.
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