Finally Set Free uses education, mentoring and more to help survivors heal.
Tracy Brack saw the horrible impact of domestic violence through the experience of a close friend. Then, it became even more personal.
"The tornado of domestic violence ripped through my own life," says Tracy, a Gwinnett County resident and Emergency Room registered nurse case manager. "It would challenge me mentally, physically and spiritually. I could not sit on the sidelines."
That's how Finally Set Free was born, an organization founded and led by Tracy. Now in its second year, the non-profit organization provides education, hope and healing for domestic abuse survivors across Georgia, mainly serving metro Atlanta. Participants are referred to the program through domestic violence shelters, hospitals, and clinics.
Tracy herself ended up in a domestic violence shelter, giving her keen perspective on what survivors need — especially long term.
"I knew as a survivor what resources were lacking," she says. "Shelters do an amazing job of getting people through the heat of the crisis, but survivors often don't know what to do next. I wanted to create a nonprofit to help with the 'what now?'"
Finally Set Free is a comprehensive, year-long initiative that includes education, mentoring and youth awareness programs. Its goal is to help survivors understand the dynamics of abuse and to understand the long-term effects abuse can have on them mentally, physically and spiritually so they can heal.
"The importance of the program is not to herd people in, but to have a significant impact," says Tracy, who also works as a case manager at a hospital in Fulton County where she also works with survivors of domestic violence during their most critical moments after being physically assaulted.
The program also provides case management by a licensed registered nurse. The RN takes a health history assessment and connects clients to health services. The RN looks for behavioral concerns such as PTSD and the risk of suicide and connects clients to health and human services.
Looking ahead, Finally Set Free hopes to increase its efforts to help young people recognize domestic abuse so they can avoid toxic relationships.
"We want to educate young people on what a healthy, respectful relationship looks like," says Tracy. "We can't protect ourselves from something we can't identify."
To learn more or to donate, go to: www.finallysetfree.org
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