A Budding Leaf


‘Because … during the years I spent in custody waiting for my court case, I shrivelled like a dying tree. Now I have freedom and I am flowering into a different person.’

I am 22, and I’ve been here for 8 years, waiting for my court case to get settled. Soon I’ll get married and leave the shelter. My husband knows my life and understands my pain. When I was about 11, my aunt sold me to a brothel. I remember the drunken clients, I remember being hidden in dark rooms whenever there was a police raid. Every day, I would ask myself if I would ever be free. When I was about 13, they rescued me. But I wasn’t free. I had to stay in this shelter for years while the court case went on and on. Why? I didn’t commit any crime.