Guadalupe's Extraordinary Story

Living Through Abuse and
Helping Other Survivors

Growing up in Mexico, Guadalupe dreamed of immigrating to the United States, where her grandfather had gone to start a new life. Shortly after Guadalupe arrived in the United States, her grandfather died, and she found herself married to man she had met in her English language classes.

A Broken Dream

After giving birth to two children, Guadalupe slowly came to realize that she was trapped in a violent marriage where she was often verbally and physically abused. She felt lost and alone, without family in a country that was not her own. Guadalupe’s self-esteem deteriorated and she fell into a deep depression.

“Suddenly your entire dream comes apart. You feel trapped as if in a dark room with no windows and no door to escape."

Imagine that your husband has taken complete control of your life. He calls you names and criticizes everything you do, and sometimes he uses physical abuse. Even your hair is not your own when he takes a pair of scissors and cuts it off.

Finding Strength

With support from the <em>Live Your Dream Awards</em>, Guadalupe was able to further her education, leading to her helping other victims of domestic violence
With support from the Live Your Dream Awards, Guadalupe was able to further her education, leading to her helping other victims of domestic violence.

Guadalupe knew she needed to escape her husband. Eventually, she found the strength to leave her abusive marriage, and moved herself and her children into domestic violence shelter supported by the local Soroptimist club. It was there where she started to rebuild her life.

Guadalupe quickly improved her English skills by enrolling in English as a Second Language classes. She then earned a certificate in domestic violence counseling and began working toward a bachelor’s degree at a local college.

Reviving Her Dream

Aided in great part by the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards, Guadalupe was able to complete her undergraduate degree. Today, she has a Ph.D. in psychology, and now helps other violence victims leave abusive situations. Every day, Guadalupe helps women live their dreams. “I’ve become a role model for my children. By taking control of my life, I’ve shown them that anything is possible. You’ve just got to get out there and make it happen."

I am very grateful to the Soroptimists because they have helped me since the beginning of my new life.


Soroptimist relies on the generosity of individuals like you to improve the lives of women like Guadalupe. Your support gives women the help they need to overcome obstacles—like poverty, domestic and sexual violence, and addiction—and follow their education dreams.

Please consider donating. Your gift of $100, $50, or even $10 today will go a long way and will transform the lives of women in need!

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