My Story: Cries of the Heart

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Loud wails rose into the office at Redlight Greenlight from the girls’ residence two stories below. I ran down the uneven stairs to find Manisha trying to force the door open. She was crying, “I want to go home! I want to go home!” Though she was taller and much stronger than me, the look on her face reminded me of a three-year-old, lost and wailing for her mother. Manisha’s wailing soon turned into banging her head against the wall. One of our caregivers appeared, whispered something into her ear, and gently moved her away from both the door and the wall. Her cries continued. This became a pattern with Manisha. She had been with us for almost a year, but her agitation – related to manic depression – suddenly escalated. Her outbursts were causing Redlight Greenlight to become emotionally and physically unsafe for the other girls. She would now … Read More

A Refuge of Hope in a World of Cruel Bondage

SIM USASIM Global August 20164 Comments

Driving through a city in India, we turned suddenly onto a narrow lane with three-story buildings towering overhead. There was normal commerce at street level, but from the upper stories young women were leaning out the windows, casting alluring gazes on the men below. This was the red light district. We parked and walked past the crowds into the Beauty for Ashes Restoration Home (B4A)—a haven of safety where women escape the bondage of prostitution and addiction. Inside, the women were going about their lives in peace and dignity, laughing and working together. But there was something else that stabbed my heart with pain. Because I suddenly realized they were not grown women at all. They were young girls—nine, ten, eleven years old. Their childhood had been ripped away, replaced with a life of bondage and abuse. And that was all they had to look forward to—until now. It made … Read More

Beauty for Ashes, Pooja | INDIA

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by Suzanne Green, India Effervescent, 18-year-old Pooja loves to dance and lights up the room with her smile. But, her laughter hides a heartrending story of abuse by those who should have protected her. Pooja was a happy, carefree little girl until the day her father started to see her differently, and subjected her to treatment she did not at first understand. She had no knowledge of what was happening to her, rape and sexual abuse. Pooja told her mother, who turned a blind eye to the situation. And no relatives came to her aid. As time went on, things got worse: her father and mother began acting as her pimps. Soon other men, not just her father, regularly used her for sex. She was taken to live with her father in Delhi on the pretext of being sent to school. There besides sexual abuse, she endured her alcoholic father’s … Read More