Simugn, this is My Story

Success Story 3

Simugn, this is My Story

My name is Felekech*. I am 17 years old and I am from Wollo. My parents were divorced before I was born. I lived with my mother until I was 12 and then my father brought me to Addis Ababa where he lived in order to send me to school. Later, he got himself a wife so he took me to live with my aunt. Five months later, he was separated with his wife so he took me to live with him again. He also brought his cousin, Martha, to live with us. My father forced me to work as a housemaid but Martha stayed with him. He liked her more than he liked me. After a few days, I quit the job and begged him to let me go to school and he let me go in the evening shift. I did the house chores during daytime and went to school in the evenings. Our home is small so all three of us slept together. Two years later, Martha got married and left the house. One evening, I and my father quarreled, so I gave him dinner and slept early. Soon after that, my father came to me while I was asleep and raped me. When I tried to shout, he slapped me. I tried to run away, but I couldn’t because he stayed at home with me. When I brought up what he did, he yelled at me and told me not to mention it again. I kept silent for a long time. After some time, when he found out I was pregnant, he told me to go to Wollo to give birth to the child. I didn’t agree with his idea. Then he called Martha and told her that I had gotten pregnant by somebody else. She came to our house and asked me to tell her the truth. I told her everything. The next day she took him to church and asked him to tell her the truth but he lied. Martha reported my father at the Bole police station, the police took my statement and sent me to Ghandi hospital. I stayed there for three days and returned to the police station. After a few days, the police brought me to AWSAD.
*Not her real name

Felekech was 7 months pregnant when she came to AWSAD. She immediately started receiving the medical attention she needed and attended counselling sessions where she found support in overcoming her trauma. Felekech gave birth in AWSAD to a healthy baby girl amid holistic support for her as a new mother and her newborn. Later, when her daughter was a few months old, Felekech enrolled in an embroidery skill training. When Felekech was ready to leave the safe house after a two-year stay earlier this year, AWSAD furnished capital for the new business she sought to start in the form of a sewing machine, seed money, a business skill training and living expenses for her first few months independently. AWSAD also provided legal aid and follow up in the case against her father resulting in a 13-year imprisonment sentencing by the local court. Felekech is currently supporting herself and her baby working as a seamstress.

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