The Abuse Relief Corps (ARC), an organization that Operation Underground Railroad has the honor of funding, recently rescued three survivors in Africa. ARC is a relief organization that provides ongoing support to women and children who are suffering from various types of abuse. The non-profit is fully dedicated to providing immediate and long-term care to survivors in need. Below are three survivor stories from recent operations in West Africa:
1. ARC assists survivor with medical expenses
A 13-year-old girl was living with her mother, and the family was constantly working to make ends meet. One day, while her mother was at work, the young girl ventured into the neighborhood. A man, who was living in a house nearby, lured her into his home and began to sexually exploit her.
The young girl, being frightened to speak about what had happened, didn’t tell her mom when she returned home that day. For over a year, this cycle of abuse continued. Her mother began to notice changes, and when she confronted her about it, she learned of what was going on.
Immediately after, the survivor's mom called the police to tell them of the offender. The local authorities issued the survivor and her mother a medical report to get a medical examination. Being a single mom, the medical examination was far beyond the family’s means to pay.
ARC was then contacted, and the child advocate team assisted the survivor and her mother with all of the hospital procedures and expenses, so that she may get the care she deserves. The suspect is currently missing, and the ARC team is working closely with the authorities to track him down.
2. Survivor rescued after being abused by a co-tenant in her house
While in her own home, an 8-year-old girl was continuously assaulted by a co-tenant. At the time, the young girl was on school vacation, and her parents had left her at home while they went to work. An individual that was renting out a room in the house, entered the family home while the parents were away and began to exploit the young child.
Out of sheer fear, the young girl didn’t tell her parents what had occurred. The cycle of abuse continued for quite some time without anyone being aware of what was happening.
One day, the young survivor fell sick and was taken to the hospital when the medical doctors realized that she had the signs of abuse. Soon after, the survivor began to speak her truth and open up about what had happened to her. The medical officers informed the police, and the authorities contacted ARC to support them. Thankfully, the perpetrator has been arrested and is in police custody, and the 8-year-old survivor is receiving the support she needs.
3. 15-year-old survivor receives financial support from ARC
Every day, the 15-year-old girl would pass by a barbershop on her way home from school, and the barber would persistently ask her to come inside. One day he lured her into the shop and began to forcibly have sex with her. As a result of the abuse, the 15-year-old survivor became pregnant.
After undergoing such immense trauma, the survivor didn’t speak a word about it.
Until one day, she suspected she might be pregnant. Fearing what her parents would say, she told her friends at school instead. Together, they helped support her in telling her mother what had happened. The parents reported the incident to the police, who issued the family a medical report to get an exam at the nearby hospital. Unable to support the cost of the medical exam, ARC was asked to come in and assist. The child advocate for ARC, provided the financial means necessary to get the exam done. Local authorities arrested the barber, and he is currently under custody.
O.U.R. is grateful to see all the incredible ways that ARC helps provide for survivors in need. It’s with the support of O.U.R.’s funding and collaboration, and the caring team at the Abuse Relief Corps, that survivors are being rescued and given healing resources for their road to recovery.