Empowering Abused Girls to Stand Up for Their Rights
June 9, 2015
Many of the girls in ELEM’s programs are victims of sexual abuse. They struggle to overcome feelings of shame and stand up for themselves.
Here is one story, “When I was 11 years old a stranger abused me. I remember coming home pale and frightened mumbling, “there is a bad man outside.” I will never forget what I was told: “You are imagining it!” This sentence followed me through all the following years. I experienced fear, and I was alone with it. There were periods of time when I denied the trauma, kept quiet and never revealed anything…
Over the years I have again been abused. Six months ago, it was an elderly neighbor. We met in the Social Security office and when we crossed the park he asked me to sit down on the bench. He then reached his hand out and started to touch me in unpleasant places. I froze. When I came to, I asked him to stop, but he didn't. I screamed from the inside that this enough; I was fed up with being the victim. I see him on the street now and it is so hard. It fills me with such bad feelings. There are no exact words to express how difficult it is to live with abuse and it's implications. There is a great pain and I have no idea how to deal with and cope with those feelings.”
Today I am beginning to open up and speak about it. I came to A Real Home. This is a place that gives me some peace and relaxation. It is a place that gives me time to rest and gather strength to service and continue fighting my war. It is a place that allows me to feel and learn how to express those feelings. A Real Home is a window of opportunity that opened up for me to combat those feelings.
A Real Home is the home I never had. The past influences who we are today, and I will no longer allow myself to feel different from everyone else. I am done feeling sorry for myself, and I am starting to take charge of my life.