Courtney Santana

As Interviewed by Jessie Connolly, March 19, 2017

Courtney Santana: In Her Own Words

What happened between you and your husband?

Well my ex, he was my boyfriend I never married him which was a good thing, he and I when we first  got together it was really romantic, he was very nice, very kind, but after a very short period of time he just turned into this kind of mean guy. And it didn't happen right away, this happened over like maybe 6 months where at the end of the 6 months he was pretty abusive.

Did you try to get out of your relationship before you really got out?

I tried to get out of the relationship at least 3 times, and I got pregnant so I had a baby coming and my daughter made a big difference into it, she was the reason why I stayed. He had 3 domestic violence charges against, well from me and I filled a protective order.

Why do think you didn’t get out those times?

Well back when I was going and trying to escape my abuse there weren't the laws that they have in place now. So now they are a lot more understanding, and they’ve written some laws that are geared toward domestic violence arrests, but at the time there weren't a lot and I couldn't even get them to enforce a protective order. So it was very difficult, it was very hard.

Are you in anyway thankful for what happened?

Yah, I think because of this journey and this path that I was on, I have the mission and started a foundation to help other domestic violence survivors. And because I'm a survived I can relate directly to the things that they are dealing with and it makes our programs very effective.

What made you want to start your own foundation?

When I lived in the shelter with my kids, because after we had a pretty rough night where he brought a gun to my house, I had to go to the shelter. I wanted to help other people because they were so miserable and they didn't know how to get back on their feet, so when I got out I wanted to go back and help people that were like me.