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Kristy finds freedom from a lifetime of violence

5 April 2016


Kristy suffered a lifetime of domestic violence. First at the hands of her father, then to a violent partner.

As a child, Kristy was forced to flee onto the streets alone, she was in trouble with the law from her early teens, and has been homeless more times than she can remember. 

“My earliest memories of family are from when I was seven. My father used to hit me a lot. He continually picked on me and locked me in cupboards as a punishment. He often told me he hated me. My mother stood by and just watched. When I was 12, he punched me in the face, and I ran away from home.”

At this point, Kristy was quickly taken into care. She had escaped her abusive father, but her life did not get better. In fact, things got worse. At school she was involved in an accident that left her partially blinded in one eye. And she went through a string of foster homes, some of them abusive.

“At one home I saw them cooking my dinner and they opened a tin of cat food and put it in my stew. They only did this to my meal, theirs was already dished on their plates. At another, they abused me often. They called me horrible names, anything they could throw at me. I tried to commit suicide once as I felt so sad and wanted the pain to stop.”

Time after time Kristy ran away. Time after time she was brought back. The last time she ran away, she went to live with her mother. But was told to leave because of friction with her mother’s new boyfriend.

By the age of 14, she was all alone in the world, homeless, living in a shopping trolley behind a supermarket, stealing food to survive. Over the next two years, Kristy lived a chaotic life.

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Stealing became a habit. It was the only way she knew to survive. She became involved in an abusive relationship. And then her life was completely turned upside down when she lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

“I went off the rails over the death of my daughter. I felt lost and devastated.”

Then, close to the anniversary of her daughter’s death, Kristy met Major Joy Wilson, the founder and manager of Salvation Army, Hope House.

Her involvement with The Salvation Army has since had a profound effect on Kristy’s life. She has completed several of our courses designed to help young people turn their lives around, she is dealing with her grief over her daughter and has stopped stealing. She is also studying to become a Child Care worker.

“Major Joy and I talked about God and heaven and what heaven is like, and what my daughter might be experiencing while she waits for me. If I need to talk to someone when I’m not coping well, I know I won’t be judged. I can be myself here.”

It’s turnarounds like this that joining Salvos Freedom Partners is all about.

By giving a regular monthly gift of $35 a month, you’ll become part of the story, helping people in real trouble to turn their lives around. People who have hit rock bottom, who feel abandoned and lost in the darkness. Your Salvos Freedom Partnership will show them hope and light.

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