Between now and the end of the year, the Light Campaign highlights images that represent light and darkness to children who have been sexually abused. We celebrate the creative spirit that exists in children despite dark times they endure.
For Rekha*, the image she took to represent light focuses on deer and horses and the love she has for them.
After Rekha lost her mother at an early age, she stayed with her mother’s friend and husband. The husband was unwell so the family would go nowhere near him. Rekha was tasked with looking after him, and over time the husband began to sexually abuse her. Rekha escaped the abuse and was later found in a railway station, homeless.
Rekha has since been diagnosed with HIV, which she believes she contracted from the husband. While Rekha stays in a protective shelter and receives regular medication, soon she will be transferred to her village, outside Delhi.
“The deer makes me happy!” Rekha says. “I love them…and horses.”
In crimes as horrible as what Rekha experienced, sometimes it’s hard to see children more than victims. But if you look deeper, despite the harm, they still have a child’s heart with love that is pure and beautiful, like the simple love for animals.
CSJ social workers help children like Rekha discover their inherent beauty; and that this beauty transcends the bad things they feel have stained their lives.