(FOX 2) - It takes a lot of strength to leave everything behind, not knowing where you'll go, or how you'll live.
But Alicia Baker realized that anything was better than staying where she was. She is proof that we're stronger than we think. And because of that, today she and her children are still standing.
"As someone close to me would always say, no one can stop you, but you," she said.
These days, no one is stopping Alicia Baker. She loves being behind the wheel. She knows where she's headed, and she keeps her eyes on the road.
She handles her life the same way and says you can't spend too much time, looking in the rearview mirror.
"If you sit back and dwell on what you've been through, you are never going to accomplish anything," she said. "At all."
For many years, Alicia wasn't in control of her own life. She was in an abusive relationship with the father of her children. She says he was violent, and controlling. And he was also victimizing another family member, who didn't live with them.
Alicia worried that he would start hurting her kids.
"It was like a lot of soul searching within me, (like) 'Do you want to stay in this situation and let your kids go through this, and then on top of that, if this person can do something to someone in your family what would they do to you and yours. I got to go, and that's what I did - I left."
She planned out how she would leave. Alicia called Turning Point, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She used their website, and their crisis hotline (586) 463-6990.
Once she left, she called Lighthouse Path which provides help with housing and support services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
she called them every single day.
FOX 2: "What was Alicia like when you first met her?"
"Scared, crying," said Scott Herron, a family advocate with Lighthouse. "Unsure, her head down with her body language."
Case worker Scott Herron helped Alicia figure things out one step at a time. First a place to live. Then, food and clothing for her kids. And then, a job.
"He helped me not sit on my butt and feel sorry for myself, that's what he helped me do," she said. "And it was like okay, I'll give you a swift kick in your butt, we've got to get going. We have all these kids here, what are you about to do (now)?"
So what she did, was get her commercial driver’s license and that opened up all kinds of opportunities.
She's currently holding down three jobs as a driver. She loves it and she's impressing everyone who knows her.
"I wish I had 10 more like her," said Gerald Jackson, GBJ Transportation. "When this business takes off we are going to be looking for more people like her."
"She is my hero," Herron said.
Alicia's six children are also proud of her - and very grateful for all she does.
"Our main priority is get good grades in school so we can do something with our lives," said Novella Cash, one her daughters. "Some parents might not care about that, but my mom is different."
"I love her very much, she is a very caring person," said Niyona Hall, another daughter. "I would do anything for her and I know she would do stuff for me too."
Alicia is happy with the life she's building for herself and her kids. It hasn't been easy, but she knows she's a role model for them - and for other people.
She wants them to know that if you take the wheel, you can direct your own life and follow the road that's best for you.
"You take one day at a time, one accomplishment at a time, no matter how small," she said. "And you can do anything, I promise."
Alicia is excited about the future. She wants to go back to school, then college and someday she'd like to open a youth home.
One step at a time, she says, and the sky's the limit.
RESOURCES: If you or someone you know, needs to escape an abusive relationship contact Turning Point at (586) 463-6990 or online HERE.
Contact Lighthouse online HERE or call at (248) 809-3773