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New Mom Finds New Life with Boys Town North Florida’s Help

No matter what Leanna did, it was the wrong thing. And it always earned a beating from her boyfriend.

He beat her if she was quiet. He beat her if she spoke. He beat her as she held their new daughter, and he beat her as he drove the car during a family trip to Tallahassee.

Besides the physical and emotional pain of the constant abuse, Leanna also suffered from post-partum depression and self-esteem issues. But those things didn't matter to her boyfriend either. When he was angry, or even just displeased, Leanna could expect bruises and black eyes.

Leanna tried to reach out for help. Several times, the family was involved with the Department of Children and Families. But it wasn't until one of those DCF contacts resulted in a call to Boys Town North Florida's In-Home Family Services® program that life began to change for her and her newborn daughter.

For eight weeks, Boys Town Family Consultant Monica Smart worked with Leanna. First, Monica helped Leanna and her baby move in with some nearby relatives. That took the mother and child out of harm's way. Then Monica began teaching Leanna the skills she would need to find her own place, get a job and live life on her own terms, without fear and pain.

After many meetings punctuated by frustration and tears, Leanna was ready to apply the problem-solving skills she learned in the program. She began connecting with community agencies and resources to find housing and a job, and enhanced her parenting skills so she could give her little girl the best care possible.

Leanna ended her services with Boys Town North Florida facing a future that still holds many uncertainties. But today, she has her own apartment and is moving forward with self-confidence and the knowledge that everything she is doing is the right thing for her and her daughter.  

"Boys Town is a lifesaver and I thank you all for everything that you have done for my family," she said.