Susana: “…I was raped after partying…”
My name is Susana* and I’m 37 years old. As I grew up my Mom worked as a house maid and I had everything I needed. When I was seven I went to live in Brazil, but my Mom and I often traveled back to Paraguay. At age 16 I got married. We had two baby girls. We often fought, and after four years he became violent and I returned to Paraguay without my daughters, because I did not know how to survive with them.
I now am very sad about my error and would like to change the past, but it’s already too late.
When I arrived in Paraguay I began to work as a vendor. I was with a man again and after a time I had a baby girl, who thankfully was born healthy. We separated before her first birthday.
One time after a night of partying, I was raped. This made me feel very dirty, and I tried to forget the experience by drinking and using drugs. I continued with my daughter and working as a vendor, when met another man. He tried to help me stop my bad habits. I later became pregnant again and after seven months I took the ELISA test. That’s when I found out I had HIV, and I felt terrible and wanted to kill myself. When I told my partner, he supported me.
After having my son, I learned about ALTO REFUGIO, where they gave me love, help, and talked with words of encouragement and shared the Word of God. I felt like I had a new family. I identified with them because we all have the same sickness. I feel like it is a happy ending.
The two children that are with me are healthy and are my reason to live. They and God gave me the strength to keep living.
*Name changed, Illustrative Image