“I’m a survivor, my life has changed.”
We are proud witnesses to Fiona’s incredible journey and transformation!
As a young orphan, Fiona* and her siblings were left to fend for themselves. She and her little sister fled to the streets after being sexually abused as teens.
Desperate to survive and to provide for her baby as a young, single mother, Fiona unwittingly entered commercial sexual exploitation and found herself trapped there.
I was only 17 years old when I started prostituting. My sister threw me out of the house when I got pregnant and I went to live with my baby in a room with a dirt floor and $50 in my pocket. I just had a bit of sugar, coffee and bread, but I thought I’d be fine. I had always worked since I was young, as a maid or washing clothes.
But the rent was coming due soon and I didn’t know what to do. A friend suggested I come with her to wait tables. “You’ll have to wear a short skirt,” she said.
When we got to the place, it wasn’t a cafe, like I thought.
“You just have to drink with the guys. They’ll pay for it. They just want to talk to you.”
And that’s how it started, with a little girl’s silly reasoning. I didn’t calculate the risks, but I entered a whole different world then. It changed my whole life.
Now that I’m sitting on the other side of the table, I see myself at 17, the age of my son now. I look at him and see that I was so young, so innocent – and with a baby. The owners of those places – they tell you what to do, what time to show up, how long you have to stay. I think they took advantage of me…. I didn’t have a mom, or anyone to tell me, protect me, or care for me. So that’s why I think they took advantage of me.
When we met Fiona on the streets, we extended an invitation to the WMFB drop-in center.
In the safety and support of the WMFB community, Fiona’s children have grown up in the Children’s Program. With effort and dedication, while raising 5 children, Fiona learned to read and write, graduated from high school, and even put her son through college – an accomplishment she is particularly proud of. She did the hard work of healing through counseling and now exemplifies such strength and confidence. As a skilled artisan, she trains SutiSana seamstresses and mentors other women like herself.
Join us in cheering her on now as she conquers a nearly 20,000 ft. glacier to show the world that incredible feats are possible for anyone!
Give here to Support Freedom for more women thriving!
*Name changed for respect and story shared with permission.