Mired in a home with no electricity, running water or indoor plumbing, Lydia Razo had heard her husband say that she was just a workhorse. She felt trapped in the bottom of a dark pit.
For the final seven years of her 24-year marriage to an abusive and controlling man, Razo searched for a way out for her and her five children.
“He hurt me and my children in many ways, but eventually I decided to leave him,” she said, “It wasn't easy, but he finally left a hole where I managed to slip out and get away.”
In 2001 at age 51, Razo discovered it’s not too late.
After getting help from a shelter for battered and abused women, Razo started her life in the sun. To support herself, she cleaned houses.
“I was gathering aches, then started to get educated in a class about battered and abused women, I realized what happened to me. They told me, ‘You need an education to give you the confidence to be more than an ache gatherer,’” she said. “I had very poor self-esteem, I was constantly beaten down.”
A new friend encouraged her that it wasn’t too late, that she could go to school.