“Andrea” was desperate when her friend gave her the phone number for Second Story’s hotline. She had been on the run for two weeks but it felt like months. She was exhausted and hungry and her pulse perpetually raced with anxiety. She knew anything would be better than this, so she decided to call the hotline.
When she arrived, Andrea only told the counselors as much as she had to. After a few days she finally confided in Second Story’s therapist, whom she had grown to trust: her father had been sexually abusing her and she was terrified they were going to send her back home to him. Second Story for Teens in Crisis immediately called Child Protective Services, who launched an investigation while Andrea was safe at the shelter.
In the meantime, counselors worked with Andrea on her schoolwork and talked through some of her insecurities. In the midst of her nightmare at home it had been impossible for Andrea to focus on much of anything, so her grades were suffering and she felt awful about herself all the time. Staff at the teen shelter taught her tools to cope with her trauma and shared ideas for how she could better express her feelings.
At the end of her time at the shelter, Andrea’s grades had already improved and she had a healthier perception of herself and her own value. Staff at the shelter follow up with her regularly to see how she’s doing and remind her of the support and resources available to her. Now living with a foster family, Andrea is ready to begin writing her own second story.