I am from an African country, when I was 19 years old I met my husband. I was social, always smiling and laughing and I was very close to my family. A week after we were married, my husband said we were moving to Canada.
When we moved here it was like I was in jail. Being in a strange country I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t speak English, I couldn’t drive, and I was away from my family and my friends.
The abuse took many forms. My husband wouldn’t let me leave the house, he put cameras everywhere to spy on me. He would leave for days at a time with no food in the house. Verbal abuse became physical abuse. He would often wake me up in bed by ripping the blanket off and hitting me, screaming. I thought the house was falling down on me. He would do this while our daughter slept beside me. He was angry all the time. I thought he was going to kill me, he kicked me after I had a c-seciton and he took hot oil off the stove and threw it at me.
My ex would tell me that if I phoned the police, they wouldn’t believe me, and they would take my daughter away from me. He sold my driver’s license to a homeless person, he took my permanent resident paperwork and threw it in the garbage.
My neighbours called the police, and they brought in someone who spoke Arabic. I told them my whole story. They took me away from my house with my daughter. They took us for pizza and we went through a drive-through Starbucks! I had never seen such a thing. They brought me to WINGS and my life has changed ever since.
They’ve taught my kids how to play, how to colour and how to receive hugs. I’ve learned that daycare is not a bad place, that people won’t kill me. Nobody is going to steal my stuff. Now that I can be outside, I’ve learned about stores and shopping. I can buy what I want, cook what I like. I love chocolate. I can take a bath. But the thing that makes feel joy is seeing the happiness in my daughter. My daughter is now healing.
This place gives me sunshine to move on in my life. My plans are I am going back to school and I am getting my citizenship and a new driver’s license.
This place gives me sunshine to move on in my life.
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