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Meet Melinda Cuellar of Divine Connections, H.O.P.E.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melinda Cuellar.

Melinda, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a survivor of domestic violence. I was in a 7-year abusive marriage. Six months after divorcing; my x husband kidnapped me, held me hostage at gunpoint for several hours, threatening to kill me & himself. I had to jump out of my car to escape. He had an 8-hour standoff with swat. He was eventually apprehended & after a long court battle, he got 12 years.

Since I’ve been taking all the steps to heal & detox from the effects of abuse. I have founded a faith-based domestic violence non-profit organization. I have six advocates on my team. We are all survivors of domestic violence & we share the same desire to empower women and to support others as they transition out of domestic violence & navigate their path to freedom.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. I had to train my mind & a whole lot of prayer & crying out to God. I had to resist the familiar & my desire to be free had to be stronger than the desire to stay.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Divine Connections, H.O.P.E. – what should we know?
We assist victims of domestic violence. We provide resources… we have support groups. We are a voice for the voiceless I. Our community.

We had our first annual Domestic Violence conference in October, helping others & hearing all the positive testimonials is our reward.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have many to thank.. my Pastor Roseanna Campos, my friends Gkorya Amaya & SOS sisters. All my friends & advocates in my team have helped me afloat and have assisted me in making this mission a success.

A special thank you to Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes, she has been a huge support & nominated me to receive the 2018 Latino Spirit Award & I was selected by the Latino Caucus.

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