Fourty-one-year-old Camika Mc Letchie holds a bachelors in psychology from the University of St Andrews and is now about to do her masters at the Caribbean Nazarene Collage in Santa Cruz.
A clinical therapist by profession, it is not a surprise she has decided to study and work in this field.
Her life experiences attracted her to this vocation because, she said, she needed to help those being held captive by masters of abuse.
The mother of seven struggled for most of her life with abuse. She was raped twice as a teenager by people she trusted. When she finally thought she'd met her "knight in shining armour" in her husband, that turned into a nightmare as he abused her physically and sexually for their 14 years of marriage.
For Mc Letchie, many were the years she thought she was responsible for all the abuse she endured.
"I used to think that I was doing something to make this happen to me and in some way maybe I deserved it," she told the T&T Guardian.
She never told anyone about the sexual violations by both rapists in her youth. Instead she grew a hatred for men that in the end only affected her more than she thought her "righteous anger" would have helped.
"I wanted to hurt men the way they hurt me. I thought I could, so I became very flirtatious...promiscuous even."
At St Georges College, where she spent her secondary school years, she moved from being a very quiet student to an uncontrollable rebellious teen. To this day Mc Letchie said she still wonders why none of the teachers tried to find out what was going on, particularly because of the extreme transition.
"They never asked me. I was too ashamed to talk about it, but I was screaming out for help, through my actions, and no-one heard," Mc Letchie explained.
She continued, "I got a lot of static in school because people started to say things about me and some of my teachers told me to my face such bad things that it further damaged my self-esteem."
She said her then math teacher even called her a whore in front of the entire class and told her that she would amount to nothing.
"This really hurt me. And I would skip math class just to avoid being embarrassed. On the outside I would seem tough. I would answer back the teacher; but inside, I was dying with the reality of what was happening to me."
Mc Letchie said she just wanted to die and prayed many times to God to take her life. She attempted several times to take her own life but each time she said she just could not go through with it.
To ease her pain, Mc Letchie began writing poetry and spoken word. "It was my only way to talk freely about the truth.
"I remember one of the poems was so sad that the school's guidance counselor asked my mother if everything was okay, and of course my mother being oblivious to what happened, said yes."
Toward the end of school, Mc Letchie attained the title of poet of the year–a competition held at the school.
And despite the tumultuous years, she graduated with six O' level subjects–maths included– with good grades (ones and twos).
A little over a year after secondary school, Mc Letchie met her former husband. Fooled by his seemingly caring ways at first, she fell for his charm, only to regret it in the years that followed.
"I thought he was my knight in shining armour. He looked out for me; made sure I was safe. He was seemingly over-caring." Mc Letchie became pregnant at 19 and after six years of dating, they became married, and stayed married for 14 years.
During the courtship before the marriage, though, Mc Letchie admitted there was a lot of verbal and emotional abuse. She also experienced physical and sexual abuse.
"I continually tried to fix things. I continually took the blame. I felt, again, I was the one causing it.
"I kept telling myself maybe I should not have answered him like that or asked him anything."
It was while doing one of the courses for her BSc, titled: Family Violence Across the Life Span, that she finally came to terms that she was in fact the victim and not the perpetrator.
"The lecturer was discussing the traits of a perpetrator and those of the victim and what an abusive relationship looks like. And that's when it really hit me," said Mc Letchie.
When she decided to end the marriage, it was not easy, Mc Letchie disclosed. She had to file a restraining order as her husband would threaten her and stalk her.
While she would have rather moved out of the home she shared with her husband, she stopped sleeping in their bedroom and even contacted a shelter, but they could not take her with all seven children.
"There were times I would wake up and see him sitting in a chair holding a knife and just looking at me. I was afraid. But through the years and having no one else, I developed a relationship with God. So I learned to trust Him and put my faith in Him and believe that what I was going through and had gone through all these years would soon be over, and there was some good reason for all of this happening to me," said Mc Letchie.
It's been three years since her divorce was finalised and she gained full custody of their children
Mc Letchie said once the divorce was over, she tried to pull her family together. But it was challenging at first. Her children, having witnessed the abuse for so long, developed certain behavioural patterns. Her eldest son became very angry. And as Mc Letchie says, she believes they blamed her. She says:
"My children are better now because I continued working with them and they are all doing so well, but by the grace of God."
Mc Letchie is in the process of writing her first book based on her life. She hopes that through each chapter, others will be freed. Soon she will celebrate the launch of her NGO called Rise: Woman Rediscover your Strength. It will be in support of victims of abuse.
Asked what she took away from her life experience, Mc Letchie said: "There is no excuse for abuse. With the help of God I have forgiven those who hurt me, and that's the only way I could have been healed."