TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - Domestic violence survivor, turned advocate, Ana Cruz is on a mission.
"They just need to know that somebody cares for them and that they're not alone," says Cruz about the women and children staying at domestic violence shelter SafeHaven of Tarrant County.
She has felt their pain first-hand. Cruz lived with her abuser, ex-husband Tyrone Delgado for ten years.
"He took away my past. I won't let him take away my future. You are no longer a victim of domestic violence. You are now a survivor," said Cruz.
Delgado, accused of rape and eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter was also found guilty of murdering someone close to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
As for Cruz, she escaped Delgado's abusive clutches and never looked back. She wants to empower domestic violence survivors, after all, abuse is all about power and control. Thus, she came up with Ana's Baskets to help. The baskets are filled with everything from kitchen trash bags, to dryer sheets and detergent.
Domestic violence victims have to leave everything behind in order to get to safety. The majority of victims and their children enter the shelter with only the clothes on their back. And when they leave to move on with a violence-free and successful life, they have to start all over without their everyday necessities.
It's costly to buy new cleaning supplies, things many of us take for granted. But when you have lost all your material belongings, only to gain a new life… well, any bit of help makes a difference.
Ana's baskets are filled with cleaning supplies so that survivors can clean their clothes and home. Each basket also contains a personal note and poem of encouragement -- again, it's the little things.
SafeHaven gives Ana's Baskets to all of its clients when they leave.
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