One Woman’s Journey From Victim to Survivor
When you meet April Hernandez, the very first thing you notice is her sweet smile and full, inviting laugh that seems like it could soften any heart it touches. If you didn’t know her, you’d probably never suspect all that she’s overcome in her lifetime.
As April says though, she is a self-proclaimed “Open Book” now, and it’s because she no longer lives in fear or shame and is NO LONGER A VICTIM.
We really didn’t have to do any digging when we sat down with her.
She simply asked, “How should we start? I’d be happy to share my story!”
April went on to do just that, describing her experience starting with getting pregnant at 18 and marrying a man who turned out to be an abusive partner.
She stayed married to him for several years and they even had a second child together, but eventually the abuse became unbearable and she left the marriage.
After leaving her husband, she met a new guy and at first he seemed great.
They moved in together and then quickly things changed. He turned out to be an abuser as well becoming extremely physically violent. It got so bad that at one point April’s boyfriend put a knife up to her throat threatening her life.
That was the turning point for April. That’s when she decided to make a change.
She left that man for good and dove straight into trauma counseling to get some help.
“My plan was to deal with the abuse I just endured, but then I was faced with all these other childhood issues popping up that I too needed to address.” —April H.
Through the process of working with a counselor, it came out that April had been molested at age 8 and was pretty much suffering with depression all her life leading her to deal with food disorders and even attempting suicide.
She learned as well that she had been growing up in a verbally abusive household her whole life but just didn’t know it, and that there was this pattern that needed to be broken.
Growing up, April says, she believed all her life that she must have been a bad kid and that’s why she was acting out the way she was. Thankfully though after all those years, this particular counselor was the one who finally helped her see that wasn’t the case at all and helped her begin to heal.
Like so many, April’s healing has been a process.
But believe us when we say she absolutely beams when she says that she feels “SUPER STRONG NOW.”
Her major message that she shares with everyone she comes into contact with is all about Empowerment To Become Your Own Hero.
To NOT be ashamed for what you’ve gone through, because we can ALL pick ourselves up and start living better.
After regaining her own power, April decided she wanted to start taking classes to become an Advocate for other Domestic Violence victims.
She believes strongly in the POWER of “giving back to those who have been in the same dark places we’ve been.”
April’s been passionately advocating for victims of Domestic violence for almost 3 years now and says she absolutely loves it. She gets to counsel victims in times of distress, help them with their immediate needs as well as connect them to vital resources like shelter and other services.
Above all though, she encourages victims to become Survivors and GAIN BACK their Power and Self-Confidence.