Initially, 26-year-old Lupe from Tonga told no one about the violence she was experiencing. She thought there was no one who could, or would, help her.
“…I have experienced sexual violence, physical, emotional and financial violence – I’ve experienced all four. As they say, the violence is silent. I didn’t know there were people out there willing to help people like me that went through it.”
When attending a local workshop, Lupe learned about Essential Services, a program supported by UN Women to help women escape violence, provide a safe place to stay, and access to vital health care and counselling services. Lupe had finally found a lifeline to justice and to safety.
Once a silent survivor, Lupe is now an agent of change. Now, she shares her story so that other women know their rights, and know that services exist to protect women and children from violence. Lupe stands up for women speaking out as an advocate to end violence.
In her own words, “Going to workshops, [raising] awareness … Made me look at my future, look at my daughter, [and reminded me that] if [I] don’t do this then she will be like this. It’s made me open my eyes and see that I really have to step up.”
This holiday season you can help bring a lifeline to more women like Lupe by making a generous donation below.