change lives.

Jessica’s story: escaping abuse to build a new future

Jessica always wanted to go to university or college to prepare her for a career working with children and vulnerable youth.

At least that was the plan until she met Joe.

The relationship started out wonderfully. But Joe became verbally and emotionally abusive and became increasingly controlling of her and her money.

Soon, Jessica was more focused on trying to survive from day to day than on her needs and goals. Increasingly, she became isolated and dependent on him.

When she saw her opportunity to leave, she found refuge at Second Stage Safe Haven. The United Way-funded partner provided her not only with shelter but counselling for the trauma, education on healthy relationships, and help identifying goals and plans for the future.

She’s made new, healthy friendships, graduated from school and started full-time work.

In her new life, she is confident and happy – and grateful to United Way donors for helping her get there.