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Liza's Story

Globally, almost one in three women have been subjected to gender-based violence at least once – Liza is just one of the estimated 736 million, and she has bravely shared her story.

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“I was visiting a friend and I’d never been to this place before. This friend was supposed to be waiting for me at the bus stop, but when I arrived, they weren’t there and it was getting dark. I waited for a few minutes and no one showed up, then, the place just felt weird to me. It felt dangerous, so I had to move.

After just a few steps, I felt someone behind me. They grabbed me and hit me, then demanded that I give them my phone and money. I didn’t have any cash on me, so I gave them my phone. When I said I didn’t have any they demanded I take my clothes off so that they could see if I was hiding any cash. I refused at first, but he hit me again so I ended up doing what he told me. That’s when he sexually assaulted me. It felt like I was there for hours, I think the fear is what made it feel like I was there for a really long time.

[Following the assault] To be honest, I was really stuck in that space where I was just angry at everyone. Angry at the world, and I really felt sorry for myself and I was in that space for a very long time. I just couldn’t come to terms with why something like that had happened to me. About a year and a half after [the assault], I got pregnant with my first child and that woke me up. I knew I had to move on if I wanted to be a good mother and set a good example for my child.

Bertha’s Place has really been a Godsend, I feel lucky to be a part of it. Before I joined Bertha’s Place, before I started those sessions, I was really lacking confidence in myself because when something like this happens to you, you think you are alone in the world. But I’ve come to know I’m not the only one, there are other people out there like me. Other people who also picked themselves up and moved on with their lives, and if they can do it then I can too.

I feel like the organisation goes above and beyond. I feel loved, I feel seen, and I also feel heard. I began to let go of what had happened and really started to move past it, to a place where I can now talk about it freely without crying and without questioning God.

The advice that I would give is that it really does get better. Do not let the abuse define who you are as an individual.”

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