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When your own home is not safe, where do you go? When CSJ met 13-year-old Rhea*, she was trapped in a cycle of family violence. The first time her father raped her was during summer when, to stay cool, the whole family slept on their home’s concrete floor. Rhea tried to scream, and her father pushed his hand over her mouth. He threatened to kill Rhea and her mother if they told anyone. Her mother had already endured years of beatings, and sometimes Rhea’s father hit her too.
* CSJ protects the identity of children in the stories we share. Images that show faces are illustrative only and do not reflect individuals in the story. Names and identifying factors mentioned in the stories have been changed.