This is the story of a young girl, who is now 14 years old.
Rosa is the fourth of seven children. All her siblings are brothers, and they all share the same mother. Her three older brothers are very dark skinned, as was their father. Rosa’s younger three brothers are also from a different father, who became her stepfather. The mother and Rosa’s younger brothers are brown skinned. Rosa feels like an outcast as she has no full siblings; her father is not in the picture; and she is the only one in the house who is fair skinned, green eyes, and has light-colored hair.
His mother is a prostitute, and her father was one of her mother’s clients. She has never met her father, nor does she know who he is.
When Rosa was five years old, she was living at home with her mother, stepfather and siblings. At this time, her mother was pregnant and not working as a prostitute. They were very poor, but made ends meet through her stepfather’s work as a drug dealer.
Rosa was sexually abused on several occasions, and raped twice by her stepfather, whom we’ll call “Roberto.” When Rosa would enter the bathroom to shower, Roberto would tell her to leave the door open so he could take care of her “just in case there was a fire.” This went on for quite a while, with Roberto obviously watching her while she was bathing. One day when her mother was gone, Roberto enters the bathroom and rapes Rosa.
The next day Rosa tells her mother about what happened, but her mom accused her of being a liar. She was told not to speak ill of Roberto. Her mom then hits Rosa over the head; she falls and smashes her head on a table.
This abusive situation with Roberto continues for just over a year. During this time, Rosa is forced to touch Roberto’s privates; to perform oral sex on him; and her body was seen and fondled by Roberto.
The second time Rosa was raped, it happened in her room. She was forced to watch her stepfather first rape her younger brother (biological son of Robert), and then was pulled into the bed and was herself raped. Rosa says she feels responsible for this situation, because she could not do anything to defend her baby brother.
The third time Rosa was raped in her living room. Her stepfather demanded she play with the genitals of her infant brother, but she refused. Roberto threatened that if she does not do it, he will kill the baby. He then raped her again. This event has had a strong mental and emotional impact on Rosa that has continued to affect her years later.
Later this same year Rosa’s mother is raped by Roberto, and he decides to leave home, even though her mother decides to forgive him. This leaves Rosa’s mom as the sole provider, and she decides to return to prostitution.
Rosa is home one day when one of her mother’s clients comes to the house to make payment for the services received the night before. This man tells her mother that she has a beautiful daughter, referring to Rosa. Her mother says, “she’s yours” and then lets the man have sex with Rosa in exchange for a new refrigerator for the house. This is how Rosa begins as a victim of commercial sexual exploitation from the age of six.This continued for three years, until Rosa was nine.
Each time Rosa had sex with this man, her mother received appliances or furniture for the home, clothing, food or trips to a restaurant.
One day in therapy, with a big smile on her face, she claims, “Thanks to me, my mom has a totally furnished home!”
One day, when Rosa was 9 years old, a man from the area who had heard about what was happening came by the house to offer to pay the mom for sex with Rosa. But the man had good intentions. Wanting to rescue Rosa, he took her to the local child welfare office (PANI).
PANI went to the house and removed the remaining 3 children. This is how Rosa and her three younger siblings ended up finally in a local orphanage. Shortly thereafter, her brothers were adopted by a local family. But the brown-skinned family didn’t want Rosa, as she “wouldn’t fit in.” Rosa was then moved to yet another orphanage.
About a year-and-a-half later, Rosa ran away. The good news, however, is that the family who adopted her three younger brothers eventually did adopt Rosa as well.
Rosa is currently in 7th grade, is stable and receiving counseling.