Lana grew up poor in Crawford County with many kids and a lot of chaos. She began dating her would-be husband when she was only 15 and he was 20.
She prided herself that she had graduated from high school in spite of many obstacles. She married immediately after graduation and had two children in the next three years. She arrived first at a DV shelter in Crawford County, at age 24, but without her children who had been placed in protective custody with OCY because of spousal abuse in the home.
Lana had suffered extreme verbal and emotional abuse, but it was the permanent scars from the physical abuse that was most shocking. Her cheek bone, eye socket and jaw had been broken and she had vision and memory problems because of head trauma. She moved to Erie to start over and was referred to SafeNet’s Bridge House transitional housing from Crawford Co.
She was in need of cosmetic surgery and major dental work and was referred to the National Network of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery. SafeNet helped her get a Protection from Abuse Order and helped her to stabilize so she could be reunited with her children. Her confidence truly soared in a life without abuse. She loved parenting her children in a peaceful, supportive environment and felt like a winner for the first time in her life.
Lana receives Social Security disability benefits, but her functioning continues to improve and this fall will start training to become a PCA-personal care attendant.
~ Transitional housing
Lana’s injuries were exceptionally severe and her childhood exceptionally difficult and poverty stricken. It was amazing to see the life and spirit come back to a very young woman after she had been so abused in so many ways. Her appearance has changed and her smile is radiant. When she came to SafeNet, she had only begun to see that life did not have to involve on-going abuse. In spite of the severity of what she had experienced, her attitude was one of endurance. We are confident that her life will continue to improve.