LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Suicide awareness month is in September but it’s a year-round problem that UA Little Rock Senior forward Angelique Francis knows all too well. 

As a child, she was a very successful golfer but also a victim of physical and mental abuse by an authority figure who she chooses not to identify.

“I was getting hit on, beat on, hit with my golf clubs…I’ve gotten a golf ball thrown at my head before.” 

Going through this abuse from the age of 6, it took years for Francis to learn that “no matter how dark the tunnel may seem there is always a light at the end of it.”

She says became the way she thought she should feel all the time because that’s all she knew. 

Later in her life, she moved to a new loving home with her mother and stepfather away from her abuser, but that’s when she started to self-harm. 

She says she never had the feeling of being loved so it was difficult to adjust. 

Francis says she began to cut and burn herself, leading to her first suicide attempt by taking pills. In all, she explains that she survived 8 suicide attempts.

She has a tattoo on her left arm that says “Survivor,” with 8 tally marks representing each time she tried to take her life.

At one point in her life, her arm was lashed with 32 cuts. She tells the story of her am bleeding through her shirt at a high school basketball practice. This was the first time her stepdad noticed the self-harm. Francis says when he saw it, he immediately started crying and this is when she says she first felt loved. 

 Number 34 for the Lady Trojans gives credit to the sport of basketball too for saving her life. 

Switching from an individual sport of golf that brings back bad flashbacks from her childhood, she says she’s able to release her aggression on the court.  Also, she loves being a part of a team. 

Along with basketball, her organization ‘ALF’ is another reason she chooses life. 

‘ALF’ is an organization to help with mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and homelessness.

20 percent of all donations and funds made from clothing sales go to charities to benefit these areas.

Click here for more information at ALF-WearTheFuture.com