Member of the Youth Voices Network
Transcribed from an audio interview. Responses have been edited for clarity.
My name is Estrella, and I’ve been involved with Day One since I was 17, about five years ago. At the time, I ended up calling the police on my daughter’s father. He came to the house — literally he just walked in. He sneaked past because we had asked him to leave and then he was, like, breaking everything in the house.
I think prior to me being involved with Day One, I didn’t know how to cope with any of my past trauma. Growing up, I experienced trauma after trauma after trauma, and I was never really able to cope with that until I was able to come here to meet with other people who went through the same thing as me. It gave me the push to fight for myself. And it also gave me a voice.
I was with this person — my daughter’s sperm donor — for a while, and I kind of felt like I deserved it. It took me a really long time to get out of that mindset, and see that I wasn’t alone. Even though I was talking about it, it wasn’t really helping until I went out there and spoke about it. And the more you talk about it, the better it feels for you and then you also get to make an impact on others. One time when I was doing a speech, one of the kids came up to me and said that they or their friend was in an abusive relationship, and I was able to give them the push they needed to get out of that situation.
Education is important as well, because the more voices we have, obviously it’s going to make a bigger impact wherever we go. And whether or not you’ve been in a situation, it still holds a power because you’re sharing that. And you’re going out and looking for advocacy and change.
I want Day One to continue to be here, and to survive and grow bigger and continue to make more change. Because if it wasn’t for Day One I don’t think I would be here today.