AAGW (Association of Albanian Girls and Women)

AAGW (Association of Albanian Girls and Women)

Overcoming Trauma: My Story of Hope
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"My scars are still aching, but the future is mine."
Photo Credit
Andreea Pop

When I was 11 years old there was a boy in our neighborhood. He abused me. I was so young I didn’t understand what was going on. He went on abusing me and I just kept silent; no one knew that he was abusing me. I didn’t tell anyone because I was so scared. Even my parents didn’t know.

It went on this way for a long time. Then he made promises that he would give me a lot of money and would help me out. I thought to myself that my family would be saved and I could help my family with money, but in reality it was not true. I figured that out too late.

Three months later he brought me to Athens. When they told me, “You will work for us as a prostitute,” I felt like I wanted to die. I hated myself; I had no money. They used to rape me, hit me, tell me to do things, which I wouldn’t do because I didn’t like those things. I wouldn’t do it, and they’d beat me more. They also threatened to harm my family. I would try to leave and go back to my family in Albania but again they would beat me and threaten my family saying, “If you try to report me, I’ll kill your whole family.” They knew where my family lived. I was gripped with fear, and I was too scared to try jumping from the third floor.

After a month the boy took me to Italy. There I was rescued thanks to the fake passports. I was happy to return to Albania, but I was also still afraid. I had this living nightmare that he would find me and kill me. I was reliving the nightmare of them finding me and beating me and thinking about how I wouldn’t be able to survive that again.

Then after two months I went to the shelter. I was fortunate to be there and the social workers really helped me. I was still sad and depressed for a long time, but eventually I got used to it after all these things that happened. I felt safe. The guy who abducted me is in prison now. I am finding peace as I plan my future. I know that the worst has passed. My scars are still aching, but the future is mine.

End Human Trafficking Now

At AAGW, no girl or woman needing assistance is ever turned away.

At AAGW, each survivor is a beacon of hope.

Surviving means strength.
Surviving means dignity: respect yourself.
Surviving means supporting each other.
Surviving means empowerment.
Surviving means opportunities.
Surviving means hope.

We believe in a world without trafficking, exploitation, or discrimination.

AAGW: one survivor at a time.

AAGW (Association of Albanian Girls and Women)
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