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From Survivors to Entrepreneurs: Women Thrive in Innovative Program

The Anaheim Family Justice Center congratulated 26 domestic violence
survivors Thursday for completing an eight-week course designed to
give them confidence and job skills.

The academy helps violence survivors restore self-confidence

In return, the women thanked police and city officials with speeches
and even a original play about a broken doll that served as a metaphor
for healing.

One survivor shared a journal entry that detailed her battle to leave
an abusive relationship.

“Dear Lonely,” it began, “It’s time that you know that I’ve abandoned
you because I met my new friend ‘Joy.’ Joy introduced me to ‘Hope,’
and my life began to change. I am no longer the same person and have
another friend in ‘Peace.’ In this place we share a common friend –
‘Happiness.'”

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter congratulates a graduate

The 26 women comprise the third graduating class of the innovative
program. More than 50 women have completed it – and many are thriving.
Some have come back as mentors. A few even started successful
businesses. A florist, a health foods products saleswoman and a
cosmetics merchant shared their wares at Thursday’s event.

“These women have been through so much and are so courageous,” said
Kerith Dilley, executive director of the AFJC Foundation. “The stories
of what they endured are heart breaking. But their incredible courage
to push forward for their families and themselves inspires us all.”

To view a report by KNBC-TV’s Vikki Vargas, click here.

To read about the prior graduating class, click here.

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