L was born in small family in a village outside Kathmandu. She was the oldest daughter of her family. When she was a child her family situation was good, but while she was growing her family started to be violent towards her and became dependent on alcohol. L was very good in school, most of the time she got top marks in her class. However, due to financial difficulties, her parents decided to withdraw her from school in Grade 5, forcing her to work for the family. L was given manual construction work, where she needed to break stones and strain sand.
As she started to work and earn money, the family situation became even worse. The family got drunk daily and didn’t work, choosing to lay down wherever and whenever they wanted. Being the oldest daughter in the family, L began to worry for her siblings. Every night her parents used to fight with each other and beat them badly. She didn’t want to stay with them, and left the home when she was 12 years old to live with her aunt and uncle. While searching for love and a home, L met a man and fell in love with him. But that man only used her and left her. Again, she was on her own. With nowhere to go, L returned to her family. Her family continued to treat her badly but with no other option, she had to stay.
One day during a celebration in her village, a man called her away from her siblings insisting he had “something important to say”, encouraging her to go with him to a quiet place. Curiosity got the better of L and she followed the man. He took her into the jungle and raped her. Despite calling out for help no one came. People started talking badly about L and eventually this news got back to her family. Rather than supporting her through a traumatic time, the family blamed her for what had happened and her father again beat her, this time so badly L decided to run away from home with a friend to another village.
L had no work or money, so her friend suggested she work in a hotel, selling her body. She felt she had no options and she needed money. She worked in various hotels for 15 months. One day, a hotel owner proposed to marry her. She was very happy to get that proposal and accepted readily. She quit her work and began living with the hotel owner dreaming of becoming his wife. After 12 months of staying with him, he suddenly left. She called him thousands of times, but he would never receive the call. Shortly after she came to know that he got married to another woman. Once again, her dreams were broken. To overcome her grief and loss, L turned to alcohol and drugs. She had many unanswered questions – “what is life?” “Why am I living?” “Why is this world so selfish?”. As she couldn’t find answers to these questions, her drug and alcohol dependence grew.
L desired peace, respect and true love in her life. While she was seeking it, she got a call from her friend, who also used to work in hotels as a prostitute but now was in an organization. The friend invited L to come. As soon as L heard of an alternative life she didn’t need to think but instantly replied – “Yes, I will come”. She thought “Maybe this is the place that I am looking for”. L has since told us that the day she entered the program she didn’t miss anything from her past life. Easily she forgot her addiction and the cruelty she had been through.
L was welcomed into the refuge of the SA Recovery Program in Nepal, learning life skills, vocational skills and the opportunity to know the real God. There she got all the answers to her questions, and was very happy. She learned about the love and plan of God, soon accepted Him as her Lord and Savior, and shortly after was baptized. Her experiences and overall recovery enables her to support, minister, empathize and give hope to other women who access the program who have been or are in a similar position as to what she had been. L has a hope and a purpose and is living her life positively and now she is working as a member of staff at the organization.
You can help women like L by becoming a Champion For Freedom, and supporting the work of the SA Foundation to provide this needed place of refuge and healing. We believe that no matter their stories, they deserve an avenue of escape. Join us in providing this place for women and their children- locally and internationally.