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The following is a segment from an interview with Donna Dozier of Detroit who survived a life of sexual and physical abuse and found hope at Magdalene Nashville where she began to rewrite the story of her life.

I got to Nashville because I was living two lives. I was getting high and then trying to live an upstanding life I thought was good. I was caught up in the WHY of what I was doing. I had no understanding of why I was getting high. There was nowhere I could go in Detroit that I knew of where I could get the help I wanted. Now some of the places you could go, I’ve seen them and it’s like you’re in prison. I knew I didn’t want to go there.

I have a brother who lives in Tennessee. My brother called and told me about Magdalene. He told me the first thing you have to do is go into rehab for 30 days. I am glad I did that because it gave me more understanding that I have a disease. At Magdalene, I fought it and was angry with having to do it. But one thing I learned while there was how to humble myself and learn how to see myself. I learned I was selfish. I learned how to see my past and my prostitution, my drug addiction and the rapes and all these things that happen to you that you don’t understand.

I am so thankful for Magdalene. While I have been there I have danced with Reba McIntyre, and I learned respect. I got my smile back. There are so many things, you learn how to love and respect yourself. I have learned that my story is important to share so it may help others. As women who have been on the street, it’s not easy to tell your story but the women who came alongside me in my journey gave me hope to do the work so my life can be different.

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