I was 11 years old and I had just moved to here I left my family behind and everyone that I cared about. My father moved here when I was 2. I have never seen him again since he left. Me and my mother we were the best of friends, she protected me and raised me all by herself because she had me when she was 18 and culturally it wasn’t right. Her family abandoned her. Sending me here was probably the most difficult decision she ever had to make. We both cried obviously, I didn’t know when was the next time I was going to see her but she made me a promise, that she would and I believed her. I had hope.
I flew here on July 2, 2010. I remember when I met him at the airport, he gave me this look. I had never felt more uncomfortable in my entire life. On July 17, 2010 he penetrated me for the first time. He verbally and physically abused me all the time, even before he raped me for the first time he accused me of not being a virgin. I was 11. I didn’t know what sex was.
I cried the first time and I told him that it hurt, but he said that I was experienced and I clearly knew what I was doing. After he finished, I went to the bathroom and I was bleeding, even though it wasn’t a lot. I knew that something was wrong. From that day until September 8, 2010, he raped me everyday. Every time he’d come home. Whether he was tired or angry, whatever he felt, he took it out on me. He had a girlfriend and a new born and he forbid me from telling anyone, so I didn’t. I cooked and cleaned the apartment everyday. I remember crying every time he’d leave the apartment and every time he’d walk in. I couldn’t cry either, at least not in front of him or he’d slap me and raise his voice. He made me do things, things I didn’t want to do.
One day I told my mom’s boyfriend and he told her. He told me that she was very depressed, and that he hadn’t eaten for days and her hair was falling out. When I told him that I told my mom, just to see what he was going to say, he dragged me in his car and he brought me somewhere and told me that. This was the place that he was going to kill me, so I told him that joking and I just wanted to see his reaction. He laughed and told me never to do that again. My mom had a friend here and she gave me her number so I ended up calling her and she didn’t believe me so she asked me to record him saying that he wanted to have sex with me. So I did and she asked me to send a second one and he caught me doing it. He dragged my suitcase and everything that he bought me and put it in a closet. That day he went to work, that might was the scariest night of my life, because I thought that going to die. All the sudden I heard knocking on the door and there were police cars downstairs. They knocked a second time so I opened the door and they asked me a lot of questions, including if my dad was raping me. I cried and I said yes.
They then took me out of his house, he gave me a phone so he kept calling, asking where I was. He told me to tell them that it was lie and everything was not true. I acted like I didn’t know anything. A year later he was sentenced to prison. I didn’t go because I didn’t want to know. After I testified, I didn’t want to go back in that courtroom and see his face.
Now, I’m 16. I’ve been in 4 different foster homes. I’ve been verbally abused in one of them. It made me very insecure about myself. To this day I’m struggling, but I’m surviving. At least I’m trying. I’ve tried to commit suicide once. I’ve thought about it a lot, but every time I think about my mom. I can never go through with it. I have people around me who tries to help, but I decided to completely erase the fact that it ever happened to be happy and move on with my life. It won’t work. It hasn’t worked. Something like this is unforgettable.
I have goals, I’m thinking about going to college and pursuing acting in the future, I have hope and I believe, in God, in finding myself again, and possibly accepting that one day I will find happiness. I feel like as long as I work hard and stay strong. I’ll get there. That’s all that matters.
— Survivor, age 16