Her mom was badly abused; now, ‘Fearless Faith,’ 11, will help combat domestic violence
With her Dora the Explorer backpack filled with clothes, 5-year-old Faith Acevedo and her mother, Tracy, sat in the darkened and stark shell of an abandoned San Bernardino house they had called home waiting for the sun to come up.
There were no toys nestled within the bag because the little girl said she wasn’t allowed to have any during the time they squatted in the empty building.
As soon as the first few rays of light began to emerge, the mother and daughter made their escape, running from Tracy Acevedo’s girlfriend whom they say physically and emotionally abused Acevedo.
As the two hurriedly made their way to a rendezvous point where a friend was waiting, Faith remembered the last time they tried to leave, her mother ended up with a claw hammer embedded in the back of her head.
The day the two left was different. There were no heavy steps behind them. No screams calling them back. It was just the two of them, scared and running.
Once inside the safety of the friend’s car, Faith and her mother embraced, realizing after nearly four years, they had broken free.
“I was relieved,” said the now-11-year-old with a quick smile. “We were hugging in the car and I could feel one of my mom’s tears go on my head.”
Faith Acevedo, 11, of San Bernardino, wraps her hands as her mother Tracy looks on before taking a boxing class at Project Fighting Chance in San Bernardino on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Faith and her mother attend the boxing class as part of Project Unity through Option House, Inc. Faith and her mother Tracy Acevedo will begin a state-mandated 40-hour training to become domestic violence advocates next month. (Stan Lim, San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)