|My name is *Alem. I am 15 years of age and I was born in the Gurage region. My parents are farmers. My sister and I moved to Addis Ababa, in search of a better life and better education opportunities. I was in the 7th grade when my sister’s husband raped me while my sister was at work. Due to my sister’s high blood pressure, I didn’t feel I could tell her what happened. When my sister saw that I was not feeling well and my body was getting bigger, she took me to a clinic and the doctors told her that I was pregnant. The doctors and my sister asked me who the father is and I told them that he was my sister’s husband. My sister was shocked and started crying. Then I was referred to Gandhi Hospital and they told me I can’t abort. After that I was sent to a police station, after they interviewed me, they brought me to AWSAD.
I came to the safe house with different psychological problems and trauma. I had a high level of anxiety, unsettled feelings and frustration and I was not interested in caring for my baby. After the counseling sessions, I began to have affection towards my baby. I also testified against the perpetrator, who was sentenced to eleven years in prison. I accomplished hairdressing skill training and I am ready to leave the safe house with my son. Right now, I have a bright future because of all the help I got. The safe house is a privilege, especially for my baby and me; we acquired countless treatment and encouragement that never come to us before.
*name has been changed.