“I came to Casa de Las Mercedes when I was 15 because I was mistreated by my family. My mom had several relationships with different men and, because I was the first and oldest child, I would be the one taking care of our whole family. I even kicked one of her boyfriends out of our house because I didn’t like him and how he treated us. Once he left, I left as well to live with my uncles for two months. But when I returned, I found out that my mom had moved in with the very guy that I had kicked out. So I had to go live with them. I was basically on my own and did all the chores myself around the house – even if it was 3 am and I was half-asleep and barefoot, if they told me to get up and clean something, I would do it. I was physically abused by the boyfriend and his family too. I ran away twice, and after the second time they burned me and gave me a big scar. It almost became infected, and I just stayed inside waiting for it to heal because I couldn’t go to a hospital. Finally, they decided that I wasn’t useful to them anymore so they kicked me out. And that’s how I ended up here. If it weren’t for La Casa, I would have never gone back to school or gotten the help I needed through therapy. It was difficult at first – I had to get used to being around other people so much, since I was used to being alone. But I’m much happier now that I’m with these girls and the love they’ve given me. Thanks to Casa De Las Mercedes, I have been given this camera to pursue my love for photography, and I haven’t put it down since. I’ve also recently started classes at the university, and I want to get my degree and an apartment or house that I can call my own. Then I can say that I’ve made it.”
Current Solutions is all about creating tangible solutions so to help these women, we recently started a GoFundMe to help raise money for these girls who are on track to becoming strong and independent women with the help of their orphanage. 100% of the proceeds will go toward these girls’ living expenses and education because we believe that these girls deserve a chance to reshape their lives and education is key in shaping a better future.
Hearing stories of sexual assault from all over the world has been incredibly humbling. Despite the sweat and late nights we put into this project, we know that in the end, it’s the love and support we get from people all over the world who are reaching out wanting to share their story that keeps us moving forward.
Please check out our GoFundMe, share this link, and donate.