My husband beat me with his pistol until he knocked me out. I got up. I grabbed my baby daughter. We ran.
My name is Lucia.
I never had the chance to go to school, and I was forced to marry my husband when I was only 14 years old.
I had my daughter when I was 16. My husband beat me after we got married and did not stop. He threatened to kill me and take away my daughter.
I had nowhere to go.
My husband was part of a gang. He told me that the police were his friends and that he would find me wherever I tried to hide. I thought my parents would help me. But when I ran to my father’s house, he refused to take me in. Instead, he tied me up in a chair and threw boiling water on me. He told me to go back to my husband.
My last hope was to flee to the United States. I crossed the border with my baby. We were arrested and sent to a detention center in Texas. I was so scared. Everyone spoke Spanish. I don’t speak much Spanish. I’m from a small town in Guatemala where we speak Mam. I couldn’t find the words to tell my story.
The detention center felt like jail.
My daughter got sick, and no one gave her medicine. Then, a lawyer from Tahirih Justice Center came. She was the only one looking out for us, and things started to change. The lawyer found a Mam interpreter. She got us released from that horrible place where I had lost hope. Without her, we would still be in danger, wandering the streets of Guatemala, fearing for our lives. Now, my daughter and I have hope for the first time in our lives.