Elizabeth* lived with both parents until they split up and her mother re-married. Her mum left Elizabeth in the care of her father but he was an alcoholic and would beat her when he was intoxicated. So, one day Elizabeth decided to leave her father at home and look for her mother and stepfather.
She found her mother but she told Elizabeth that she was leaving the country to work abroad. When the time came she left Elizabeth with three younger brothers to look after whilst their stepfather used to leave them at home and go to work. He started beating her when he returned from work every day and told her not to tell anyone.
One night she was asleep in her room with one of her brothers when her stepfather came in, woke her up and took her into his room. He ordered her to take off her clothes and when she refused he threatened to kill her and dump her body into the pit latrine if she told anyone. She had no choice but to accept and he raped her. It became a daily routine so Elizabeth went to her friend’s mother for help but it was all in in vain. This only brought more problems as her stepfather stopped giving her food and refused to buy her a pad during her period which she could not afford herself. Elizabeth started looking for food for her and her siblings. When she found boys, she asked them for money in return for sex and the money that she received, she used to find food. She became a sex worker in order for her and her siblings to survive.
Forced to the street
Elizabeth hated this way of life and so decided to return to her biological father. To her dismay, her father chased her away and told her to return to her husband, as Elizabeth’s mother had wrongly told him she had been married.
This pained her and she did not expect it from her father but her only option was to turn to streets. She considered going back to her stepfather’s home but he wouldn’t allow her to stay with him again. So, she concluded that people are not kind and decided to make the streets her new home. Her new friends influenced her and she began taking drugs and began doing things she had never imagined. Sex work become her only source of life as she thought that the world had abandoned her.
One day on the streets one of the S.A.L.V.E. International social workers came to her and told her about what they do and how they can help her change her life. She was hesitant about the proposal but wanted to find a better place to stay so after some time she accepted and was brought to the S.A.L.V.E. Halfway Home. She went through their processes to help her and is now happy as she has been enrolled to education and is living a good life. Elizabeth appreciates what S.A.L.V.E. has done for her and continues to do for other girls who are facing the same difficulties she has gone through.
*names are changed in line with our Child Protection Policy