Dear Friends,I would like to introduce you this holiday season to one of our clients, a brave young mother named Lucia.* She never had a chance to go to school and was forced to marry an abusive man at the age of 14. She thought she would die when he hit her again and again with his gun and left her for dead in a public square. Gathering her courage, she grabbed her baby and ran to her father’s house. When she got there, he tied her to a chair and threw boiling water on her. He told her to get out and go back to her husband.
She knew she would never be safe in Guatemala, so she fled to the United States with her 10-month-old. But when she made it to the border, she wasn’t treated like a survivor in desperate need of help. She was treated like a criminal.
She speaks an indigenous language and couldn’t find the words she needed to tell her story to immigration officials. She was put in detention … behind bars … with her baby.
As a mom, the thought of this happening to me and my children is heartbreaking. Could I leave everyone and everything I know? I don’t know if I could. But Lucia had the courage to flee with nothing but the clothes on her back and a baby in tow.
This is why Tahirih Justice Center exists. To help women like Lucia who refuse to be victims of violence and to change the system that treats them cruelly. Thanks to supporters like you, we were able to help Lucia and her baby get the support they needed and get out of detention. We found a family that was willing to open their home to Lucia and her baby as they got back on their feet. This amazing turn in events would not have been possible without the compassion of supporters like you, and we need your help to continue lifesaving work in 2016.
Please make a year-end donation today so that we can continue to protect women like Lucia who are fleeing extreme violence, including rape, domestic violence, human trafficking, honor crimes, and forced marriage.
Worldwide displacement because of war, persecution, and conflict is at an all-time high, and mothers like Lucia with nowhere else to turn need your help. We are deeply disheartened at the rise in anti-immigrant and refugee sentiment in the aftermath of recent acts of terrorism.
We must maintain laws and policies that are compassionate and fair.
Your support for our non-partisan, bridge-building advocacy in Washington, DC is so vital right now.
Thank you for helping us create a world where all women and girls enjoy equality, safety, and dignity.
Founder and Executive Director, Tahirih Justice Center
If you already made a gift, thank you! We will continue to share details of Lucia’s story with you throughout the remainder of the year to show you how much your gift matters. Please consider sharing Lucia’s story with your friends and family.
*Client’s name and image have been changed for her protection. Her story is based on her appeal for release from a detention center in Karnes, Texas.