"I slipped through life invisible. I got stepped on and broken by sexual molestation at age 5 and got in trouble instead of help. I lost my virginity to rape at age 13 and didn't tell anyone because I thought it was my fault. Things got worse from there: satanic poetry, suicidal thoughts, promiscuity. I viewed myself as a glass flower vase which had been broken and therefore was no good for holding bouquets anymore. My entire life I had zero hope of ever falling in love and getting married. I was no good. My self-esteem was so low that I did not know that I was extremely beautiful and sexy, and this is why men and boys preyed on me hundreds of times from age 5 to adulthood. My emotions and sexuality never matured. No one saw that I was lost. I was drowning in darkness. Then a woman (Lisa) approached me at a bus stop and somehow knew that I had been victimized repeatedly. She gave me $20 for food and a lifeline (her business card). That was the first time in my life I got angry at the realization that there really IS something VISIBLE about me that actually WAS alerting dangerous predators that I should be their chosen target. It shed some light on my anguish at being raped OVER AND OVER again all my life. Once I heard from Lisa, who is a safe person, that this could be seen in my eyes, in my body language, or whatever it is about me that made me look like a "good choice" to a man looking for someone to victimize, I wanted to heal. I wanted to change. Hope was born. I called her. Damascus Road was literally the ambassador for Jesus Christ himself when they paid for my bus ticket to the healing program I was placed into. I was able to tell my pagan worship family that I did not need their money because God's people were caring for me and providing for me. Ever since getting in touch with Damascus Road I have felt safe. I have someone that I can trust that I know loves me. I could call at any hour with any emergency and Lisa would really help me get out of danger or trouble. Through a new relationship with Jesus Christ that I found in the program, my healing began. I am still far from whole. I still struggle every day with the challenges of life with a childlike mentality and chronic PTSD, but I know that if I decide I can't do this alone, programs are available. Thanks to donations of money, other resources, and volunteer time from Christians and non-Christians alike with a genuine heart for rescuing women like me from the downward spiral of low self-worth, poverty, survival sex, stripping, prostitution, and slavery in the drug trade and gang involvement."
" Hi my name is Lisa, I spent most of my life running from who I am and more so not knowing who I am. I was born into a family that I never felt I belonged in. I was molested at a very young age which stripped me of my childhood and my innocence. I don’t remember my childhood; the event was so traumatic that it forced me to block out my childhood. I never fit in with the other children on my block I spent most of my time alone. At the age of 12 I was introduced to marijuana, that drug allowed me to escape from reality and I loved it. By age 20 I found cocaine and that allowed me to get even further away from reality. By age 25 I was introduced to crack cocaine and fell in love with the feeling. I didn’t have to feel the pain of being me anymore. From then on, I spent my life in and out of abusive relationships with men and started to feel more useless. Every day I lived to get higher and higher just so I didn’t have to deal with reality. I used to live and lived to use. By age 30 I had become completely dependent on crack nothing else was more important to me than getting high. I started getting to know more people that got high and found more ways to get high. I found my place so I thought in the streets. I became homeless and starting working the streets (prostitution) to support my habit and myself. I spent the next 16 years going in and out of jail and in one of the worst controlling and abusive relationships with a man whom at first I thought was going to take me away from all that. In June 2015 I met Lisa at a local church I use to go to sometimes on Tuesday nights just to get a hot meal and some personals so I could keep up with my hygiene. I didn’t want to go there that night but a power greater than me made me go. Lisa came to me and told me there was a way out, she gave me her phone number and answered the phone when I called. I was shocked after all those years of abuse I didn’t trust anyone cared about me. Within a week, Lisa got me out of town to a safe place. In the past year and a half, I have gone from a drug addict and victim of domestic violence to a responsible member of society. I have a good job, I am enrolled in school part-time, have my own car and a one bedroom apartment. Lisa has supported me every step of the way both morally and financially. Without the help of Damascus Road I would still be in the world trying to destroy myself or dead. Today I know who I am and who I want to be and I owe it all to Damascus Road.
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