sponsor a child

Don’t let her stand alone

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, stand with us and pray for the most vulnerable.


Bolivian family

Some readers may find the content of this blog post distressing.

Each day, women encounter violence as they go about their daily routines. In fact, the United Nations estimates 1 in 3 women will experience some form of violence in her lifetime.*

Let that sink in for a moment – 1 in 3.

While violence affects women and girls across the globe, those born into poverty are at greater risk. Violence not only keeps women locked in a cycle of poverty, poverty also exposes them to violence.

This is something 43-year-old Betty knows only too well.

 

Bolivian kitchen

 

Betty was six when the abuse started. An orphan, she was sent to live with her brother’s family. Here she suffered years of neglect, including being starved and forced to carry out domestic jobs rather than attend school. Hungry and vulnerable she was sexually abused by a male relative, who used food as a bribe to keep her silent.

When she was 14, Betty ran away from home. With nowhere else to go, she started sleeping in old buildings. “I used to sleep in abandoned houses. There were boys who bothered me, but the girls took care of me. They took me to eat. I was like their little sister,” remembers Betty. While her friends tried to take care of her, once again Betty was vulnerable. In the years that followed, she had a series of abusive partners. At first they bought her gifts and food, but slowly they turned violent. One boyfriend hit her so hard she lost several teeth.

When it seemed like Betty would be trapped in an unending cycle of violence, she was approached by the local church. By this time she had three young children living with her, and four more who’d been taken into foster care. The church offered her help through the Compassion Child Survival Programme which cares for expectant and new mums.

Thanks to the Child Survival Programme, for the first time Betty was able to find a safe place to live and received practical and emotional support. “They taught me how to take care of my children, how to be a loving mother and how to play with them. I didn’t know that. I learnt so much,” explains Betty.

 

Compassion Child Survival Programme

 

While she still carries the mental and physical scars from the years of abuse, Betty is learning to forgive those who abused her. And she is determined to seek a different path for her children with Compassion’s help.

“[At the project] I receive advice. I pour myself out to them. Sometimes I torment myself with my past, but they comfort me. Without the project, I wouldn’t have changed. I would be in my old way of living. My children and I wouldn’t have met the Lord. Now even the baby knows how to pray. I have changed a lot, and I feel happy. I don’t feel sad, as I did before,” says Betty.

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, join us in praying for an end to the violence faced by women like Betty. Take a moment to pray for those facing violence.

 

Pray with us

 

Words by Galia Oropeza and Emily Laramy
Photos by Galia Oropeza

*UN: Unite to End Violence Against Women



WORDS : Emily Laramy

PHOTOS : Galia Oropeza


MORE STORIES FOR YOU

4Jul

Different Path One Year On: How Your Generosity is Bringing Hope

It was incredible to see the Different Path appeal raise £2.2 million – your donations were matched by the UK government. One year on, this means that we’ve been able to open 20 new projects and continue funding three existing Child Survival projects.


14May

Welcome to the World: Meet 8 Remarkable Babies Born in Lockdown

Even in the chaos of a global pandemic, God brings forth new life.


30Apr

5 Reasons Why COVID-19 will Impact Those in Poverty the Hardest

During a pandemic like COVID-19, the poor are disproportionately affected and among the most vulnerable.


Nov2019

25 Cute Baby Photos With Smiles To Brighten Your Day!

We’ve added more incredibly cute baby faces to bring you joy during the autumnal gloom!


Jun2019

June Magazine 2019

In this issue, we’ll transport you to the beautiful West African nation of Togo to share a glimpse of the life-transforming work that is happening...


Jun2019

3 Women Who Inspire Naomi Scott

Meet Eugenia, Mediatrice and Ernestine, 3 strong women with powerful stories to tell.


May2019

In The Face of Unthinkable Trauma, Chemine Has Overcome

When Chemine was assaulted by the father of her child, she had no one to turn to.


Apr2019

What Happens When Your Family Tries To Poison You

This brave mum has lived through forced marriage, abandonment and even poisoning.


Mar2019

A Different Path: 8 Stunning Portraits of Mums Defeating Poverty

These courageous mums have been empowered to overcome abuse and abandonment.


Mar2019

You Can Save Lives With The Different Path Challenge

Take the #DifferentPathChallenge and help save the lives of vulnerable mums and babies in Togo!


Mar2019

Meet The Courageous Grandma Raising 3 Kids In Her 70s

Sowaye never dreamt that in her widowhood, she’d be raising grandchildren. But thankfully, she’s not alone.


Mar2019

Why Are Toys So Special To Children In Poverty?

From water bottles to shoes, the kids we work alongside are creative and innovative when it comes to finding toys.