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Tropical Leaves

What we are fighting: Sexual abuse



She remembers being 3 years old

I met this 16 years old on my first trip to Talamanca, at the tender age of 16, she already had an almost two year old little girl. 


She related to my story and felt safe enough to open up. She told me that since the age of 3 she remembered being sexually molested by a man close to her family. This sexual abuse happened frequently on the weekends when the family had celebrations and the adults were intoxicated with alcohol. 


“There were no adults to protect me,” she said to me.


I later met my friend’s mom and grandma. I learned from them that this story had been repeated over and over in their own lives.  


Thanks to the presence of the Nest and the relationships founded over the years with the 3 generations, all three women have shared their stories with each other. 


Together they are trying to protect the little one, who is 6 years old today. She is beautiful and full of smiles. I see this little one as the first child of the Nest.


She remembers being 5 years old

On the second trip, I met a 20-year-old girl, with a 5-year-old boy. 


She related to my own story of trauma and shared with me that she has been raped all her life by male family members. She used to run away from house to house only to go through the same trauma all over again.  


She told me that when she got pregnant she did not want to bring her baby to this world… She knew that if the baby was a girl, she was going to be raped, and if the baby was a boy, he was going to be a rapist. 


Her boy is a child of the Nest.



She was 12 years old

On one of my trips I met another friend who related to my story and told me about her own experience with repeated abuse and her resulting abortion. 


My new friend, who had her first child at the age of 12… told me how after having 3 children (all boys) she got pregnant and decided that she wasn’t going to bring another child to this world. 


She decided to abort her baby and told me how she did it. 


Word of mouth is passed on among women in the community, that if you go to the river and hit your belly with a big stone hard, and enough times, your baby would come out and that’s how you get rid of him/her…  that is exactly how my friend did it. 


She saw her well formed unborn child come out of her and there she left him/her in the river to die.

Tropical Leaves
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