Domestic violence survivor shares message to victims

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A southern Arizona woman says she is living her best life after being a victim of domestic violence. 

Alexis Bustamante was a single mom of two in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend for years. 

"The pushing first and then the hitting and then the punching... so it was rough," Bustamante said. 

She says she didn't want to leave the relationship because she didn't have the financial stability to take care of herself and two sons.

That changed when her boyfriend at the time pushed her through a wall. 

"It was a hard shove that I went through the wall, at that point this is enough I cannot do this anymore," she said.

With the clothes on her and her sons back, they left and lived in her car for a week. 

"I was very ashamed of myself and embarrassed to tell my family the situation I was in and I had nobody to talk to absolutely nobody, I was alone," she explained.

She says one of her co-workers then told her about Against Abuse Center for Women and Children in Casa Grande.

When she got involved with the organization she says she got help from Community Action Human Resources Agency (CAHRA), Arizona Department of Housing, and Department of Economic Security. 

She says these agencies provided her food stamps, insurance for her and her kids, and helped pay the bills. 

Bustamante says as a single mother, with a full-time job she was able to enroll in college.

Her message to victims: there is help out there, you just have to speak up. 

Flash forward to seven years later, she says she is happier than ever. 

"I am not the woman I was before, I am stronger, I am humble, I have a beautiful life and I am very happy," she said. 

Bustamante is engaged to her fiance of three years and has a newborn daughter.

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