Lyn* is spending time with her new found friend at Shelter 1
Used, torn, vulnerable, violated..How can anyone possibly understand the feelings of a child who was raped at the age of 9? But that’s the reality of Lyn’s* life, lying on the bed, possibly the first refuge she has had after being in the presence of evil adults who had no mercy for a child. Her own father was the perpetrator; her mother, a domestic violence victim herself, was unable to protect her until that day when she sent Lyn to the hospital and made a police report.
The authorities stepped in and sought temporary shelter for Lyn. We were contacted, and we took her in. They just needed to put Lyn in a safe place until the court case was settled. But this meant the nightmare hadn’t ended yet as she needed to attend court hearings to testify and to face the monster once more. We engaged a counsellor to prepare Lyn before she steps into court, to settle her emotions and to ensure she feels safe with us. The authorities decided that Lyn needed to stay on longer with us as the case dragged on, and after surveying our home, they gave us custody over her for 4 years as her mother was deemed to be unfit to take care of her.
It has been 6 months now, we have taken her to see a play therapist where Lyn could express her inner hurts and trauma and she did. Session by session, her joy and hope and her inexpressible deep hurt were expressed through drawings and toys. At the eighth session, the therapist saw something; Lyn has expressed that SHELTER was her safe haven and she has started to cheer up. We too, had a deep profound joy of being part of the rescuing and healing journey for Lyn. Let us continue to sustain and build this safe haven for more “Lyns” to come.
Lyn is the person on the right, playing with her new found friend at the Home
*This is not her actual name, to protect her identity