After the first days at the shelter, we will work with you to find out where we go from here. This means that we assist you if you have problems with the Foreigners’ Office, looking for a new school or vocational training, or suitable long-term accommodation. For every girl the right solution might look different.
Yasmin (16 years):
“If I moved out tomorrow...”
Altogether I’ve spent a little over two months at Papatya. If I had so say how I have changed, I’d say that I have become stronger, more patient and free. It was really important for me to find out that there are so many girls with the same story as mine. I used to feel like a freak, because I thought I am the only one that this is happening to.
In the last weeks I learnt a lot about myself. Before I would never have thought that I could be so strong. Here I often had the feeling that I am falling into a hole, if something did not work out once again. But I have realized that I can always get out of this hole. This gives me the strength for the path that is still ahead of me.
Even though it was really hard sometimes, I have not gone back home. My parents put me under a lot of pressure, but I resisted. Also because I want to be a role model for other girls. I want to prove that everyone who wants to can also make it.
Since I have left I have gotten to know a very different side of my parents. They cried on the phone and during the meeting with the youth services, which made a great impression on me. They had never done that before in front of me. But after they found that I wasn’t going to give in, my father threatened to kill me. If would never have thought that possible, even though he used to beat me often.
At Papatya I found how important it is to always have someone to talk to. I’ve always had a different attitude to the religion of my parents, but I could never talk with them about it. Whenever I tried, all I got to hear was that I should sit down and shut up. And when they were in a really bad way, they’d say, go and clean the dishes because you’re a girl. Here I have always gotten an answer and the staff here has confirmed most of my ideas.
I know that there is still a long way ahead of me, even though I’ve been away from home two and a half months already. If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that I never want to go home again. I also don’t want any contact by phone. I know that my parents want to have me back at any price, but with them I have always felt like a wrong piece of a puzzle, that I do not belong.
Certainly I am afraid when I am thinking about my future. I still have to go to school for another two years. Because of all the stress at home, I found it hard to concentrate on learning and my grades weren’t too good. Now I am afraid that I might not manage to graduate successfully. But I know that I will get some help with homework in the assisted shared flat that I am moving into.
One thing I am not afraid of, though, is being independent.
My hope for the future is that I will manage to change the image of women in my culture. Because of that, I want to graduate from school with the best grades I can get and work in women’s projects all over the world. At Papatya I have learnt that women can do anything!