EDINBURG (KFXV) — A local clinic receives with open arms those looking for a second chance. It’s there we found Maria Barrera, a counselor and therapist, who shares with us her story and the many cases of domestic violence she has seen here in the valley and how women have overcome.

Maria Barrera is a valley native who decided to dedicate her life to service. She says she faced obstacles along the way including discrimination. We asked her how a day like today, international women’s could bring empowerment.

Maria Barrera is a National Certified Counselor who served in the army for 6 years before getting her diploma.

She has worked with people with emotional issues, anti-social personalities, sexual abuse and women who fall victims of domestic violence. Barrera tells me she has seen how women in abusive relationships often fail to seek help, viewing the man as a provider.

The valley is home to some of the most brutal domestic abuse cases. In Edinburg, police arrested a 62 year old man after stabbing his girlfriend 14 times.

Barrera explained how women can avoid these incidents and look for empowerment.

Barrera tells me her own journey, was not easy.

She fought against the stereotypes of coming from a low income neighborhood and the discrimination in the workplace.

Barrera is currently pursuing her PH.D. in physiology and plans to keep helping people find that second chance in their lives.