We wanted to share this personal story from one of the women being helped by the Women At Risk project that MC supports. WARNING: This story contains graphic material.
Tigist was born in Wonji-Shoa, which is 20 km outside of Nazareth, Ethiopia [where the Women At Risk project is based]. Tigist’s mother has a chronic disease, which has made her bed-ridden for a long time. When Tigist was 12, and her mother’s condition got worse, her father began to rape her. She tried to tell her mother about it but she didn’t respond well.
After some time, Tigist decided to leave home and work as a house maid. To do that, she came to Nazareth, which is a much bigger town. To find a job, she went and talked to a broker. But he lied and manipulated her into having sexual relations with him.
Then claiming that he had found her a job, he took her to Dilla, about 300 km south and passed her on to a woman who was also working in prostitution. Tigist felt she was trapped, and had no choice, so she joined the woman in prostitution. The woman profited from Tigist’s income as well.
After two years, Tigist left Dilla and came back to continue in prostitution. While in Nazareth, her dream of having her own family drove her into a relationship with a man. When she conceived, he immediately cut off the relationship. Eventually she had a baby boy, but had to continue in prostitution to survive. Raising her son has been very difficult.
She was in this situation when she met staff of Women At Risk during their night visits. She jumped at the opportunity of leaving prostitution, and is very eagerly and positively going through the rehabilitation program.