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Central Texas Spirit: A Voice Making a Difference

Updated: Monday, September 23 2013, 02:04 PM CDT
Courtney Sanchez's powerful, pure sound graces the stages of Austin   theaters and clubs. But the voice she shares most often reveals a heartbreaking history of domestic violence.

She says, "There was one time when I went to the hospital and I sustained a broken chin, my eye socket had been broken and I'd lost hair. One evening my abuser came over to my home and we were going to talk things out and he had just been released from jail and a gun fell out of his pocket. I packed up my children and went to Safeplace."

Sanchez decided to go public with her story after living at the shelter.

" I just felt like the women needed hope and there was so much negativity brewing there and I thought that when I was going to leave what was I going to do and I wanted to come back there and try to help. Then I started public speaking for Safeplace and I would give these speeches and without a doubt someone would come up to me and say that was me, that was my mom, how do I get information, where do I go?"
In those speeches, Sanchez tells women they should not be silent if they are in an abusive situation. She says, "They should go and seek help and on the other side of the situation they can have a reality without violence. They have to want better for themselves and for their children."

Sanchez chose to break her silence more than a decade ago and plans to keep using her voice to help others end the cycle of abuse. Central Texas Spirit: A Voice Making a Difference

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