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She is training to be a paramedic to help others

Dorothy is a trauma survivor. She has been supported by HCSA Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre in her healing journey. Today, she is studying to become a paramedic, so that she can dedicate her life to rescuing others.

My name is … Dorothy Anne
I’m 26 years old this year in 2021. I graduated from Dayspring in 2012. Proud to say, I was one of the first graduates! And happy to say, I really wished my time in Dayspring was longer!

In my life before Dayspring, I was … nomadic
My parents did not take responsibility for me and I stayed at different places including hostels. I was also physically and sexually abused when I was younger. Dayspring has been my saving grace.

When I first entered Dayspring, I was … insecure, lost and rebellious
I had just served three months in the Singapore Girls’ Home. I had expected Dayspring to not do me any good, as prior to it, I had already stayed in two different homes. I was so wrong. Dayspring was completely rehabilitative for me. My first few days were quiet and assuring. I was not forced to talk or do anything and eventually I came out of my cocoon.

During my stay … we learned and talked about what happened in my life
It was about facing my traumas head-on. It took a lot and there were many, many bad days, but even on those bad days, I found solace and comfort in Dayspring’s programmes.

It’s not always easy at Dayspring because … everyone is different
Not all of the therapy programmes will be liked by all girls. We are all unique individuals who find joy and healing in different things.

My favourite type of therapy is … animal therapy
Like equine therapy and dog therapy! Both were outdoors and sometimes I dreaded them, but I ended up finding comfort walking alongside the horses and dogs. I was actually afraid of touching them. Eventually, I got closer and closer to them – with help of course! These Dayspring programmes, including learning about art and make-up, really helped me to take my mind off personal issues for a while.

I would describe my transformation as … becoming a dove
I learnt to love myself and it got easier. I have self-esteem issues – something that I struggle with even after Dayspring – but I try to remember what I learnt and apply them whenever I struggle. For me, the dove represents purity, peace and most importantly, freedom. I now have the freedom every day to move forward in life, as I’ve broken free from societal expectations and the stigma of abuse survivors.

Some of my favourite Dayspring people are … well, too many to name!
First, they are my counsellor, Cathy, and my mentor, Janice. They never ever fail to pull me away from the edge each time I wanted to give up. They are like guardian angels. I also have to mention Kim Lang, who was the receiver of my nastiness and yet never gave up on me! All the staff like Dara, Maria, Bhavani, Siti, Joette, Faith, Espall, Shadee, Stasia, the management committee of Dayspring and the residents were my everyday people, cheering me on. I’ll always be grateful for this family.

After I graduated from Dayspring, I … knew that I want to help people
For a while, I joined Dayspring as an Associate Youth Mentor for one and a half years before I embarked on my studies.

Today, I’m … taking steps towards becoming a paramedic
I’m working while studying part-time, and will begin my paramedic training soon. My simple dream is to save people. Meanwhile, I continue to work on myself.

I hope that other young women like me will … reach out to others too
The pain and brokenness we feel can be channelled to good use, like helping others. There are people out there suffering and need a hand. Also, each time you feel like everything around you is collapsing, breathe. And then take baby steps forward.



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