Miriam (*name changed) had just turned 15 when she was raped, and suffered other sexual abuse in the war in Syria. This is a summary of her story & what our assistance can do. We have restricted information about her case in detail as protection & safety are our primary concern.
15 year old Miriam suffered sexual abuse in Syria. She was raped & suffered severe sexual humiliation.
When we met Miriam she was begging for death to come to her. Her parents had been killed on separate occasions. Her mother was killed due to shelling on her village, and her father was murdered before her eyes. They were looking for her elder brothers who were believed to be fighting in a rebel group.
They took Miriam away, she was held & sexual abused for 15 days, before there was fighting where she was taken to and an opposition group were able to assist her and others who were being abused.
Miriam felt she lost everything. She was taken to a neighbouring country to get medical treatment and the right assistance. Miriam only wished for her life to end. A ‘charitable’ group wanted to assist her. Like many other girls who have been abused, women who lost their husbands, and others alone, they would help them to marry, a marriage from men charitable enough to take them in. Miriam was to become wife number 3 to a 65-year-old man, something she never would want for her life.
Our organisation managed to hear about her case, and thankfully was able to step in and take her to a safe place. Miriam had so much self-blame for being raped; she blamed herself and struggled greatly with what had happened. A child still, she had only just turned 15.
Miriam felt she had no purpose in living anymore. She felt that her life was over, especially with pressures in her culture; she felt she could never marry, have love or anything that many young girls dream about.
Months passed by, and we assisted Miriam in every way we could. She found safety with us, and in time, she grew strong, built friendships in trust with the other girls we were assisting, she started to have dreams again.
We assisted Miriam into getting back to education, she now wishes to become a doctor when she is older and help other girls who suffered abuse like her. She dreams of making a change now, building a life and being able to give back.
Her innocence was taken away from her, and she would have been entering into a life of further abuse and severe unhappiness. She focuses on studying and her future now, and will continually grow stronger. She smiles again, and brings laughter with her now, a beautiful thing for us to see.
Miriam is just one of the girls we have assisted and continually assist. Her case of abuse is much more complex than described. She had a chance to recover, a place to feel safe with us, and a chance to speak safely about her abuse, along with the support of other victims.
There are sadly thousands of girls falling victim to sexual abuse and situations they would never wish to choose but feel no choice as they lack the support they need. We offer this support, but need to be able to a lot more. It takes time to work with these victims; we need the funding to be able to continue to assist girls like Miriam.