Ann Marie’s Story
*Trigger Warning: The following is a true story of a survivor of abuse. Please consider this before reading further.
Ann Marie* lived with extended family during her early teenage years. At 13, she was brought by a relative to a compound that housed a religious cult. She was horrifically abused regularly to “cleanse her of her sins.” It was three years before Ann Marie came to Love146’s Survivor Care, at age 16. Here, she blossomed back to life, making huge strides in her personal life and in school until she made it to the top 10 students in her high school class.
“Love146 is giving me a better future, so I feel supported,” she said. “Because of that, I can be brave. Love146 is behind me in my search for justice."
Outside of school, she learned guitar and piano, and also studied beauty and hairdressing techniques so that she could support her continuing education in social work or law. And she sought justice in her own life, too: out of the 10 known survivors of this particular cult group, Ann Marie was one of three who testified in court against the leaders behind the abuse. The cult leader was a powerful man. When Ann Marie chose to testify, he and his followers followed her with threats and intimidation. Her brave journeys to court required Witness Protection and a crew of armed guards.
“I don't want any more children to go through the bitterness I went through,” she said to us later. “Because of your help, we are strengthened and we are strong. I have obtained my justice."
*Ann Marie’s name has been changed
We partner with Love146 to make sure that girls like Ann Marie can blossom back to life. Find out more about the work of Love146 here and join us this Dressember as we pledge to raise $3 million dollars to aid the fight to end modern slavery!