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HOPE FOR YANE

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

This is the story of *Yane, born in 2003 in Tranca Salvia, a province of Huánuco. Yane lost her mother when she was two years old. Left with her grandparents, she spent her childhood with little communication, something not uncommon among the people of the mountains. One day she told her step-grandmother a horrific story that got her a good spanking. 


It started when Yane was eight years old. Her abuser was her own uncle who frequently assaulted her, completely ignoring her resistance. No one believed her when she told them what was happening so she decided to keep quiet and suffered this agony for three years. One of her aunts found out about what was happening and exposed Yane’s abuser, putting an end to the mistreatment. 


Yane was brought to Casa del Buen Trato Hovde, pregnant at 11 years old. At the time, she did not want to have the baby that was growing inside of her and she felt guilty for what had happened to her, thinking that everyone would judge her like her grandmother did. She was in a new place with strangers, feeling uncomfortable, and not wanting to think about the future. Yane said, “I do what I need to do on my own. I like to study and read.” Her loneliness was even more apparent in the hushed tone of her voice and in her expression while sharing that she has no siblings and that she had never met her father since her grandparents told her that he moved far away.


Three months after arriving at the shelter she says, “I like being here. I feel good and I have new friends that treat me differently and I talk with them a lot.” For the first time she had hope in the future. Weeks later she received news that opened her eyes, gave her new feelings, new ideas, and a new perspective on her life. Yane’s father had returned and wanted to know her and be near her. He promised that if she wants to have her baby, he would support her in everything. He has come to visit her at the shelter bringing Yane’s new siblings—a seven-year-old brother and four-year-old sister. They’ve even brought her gifts and it’s become harder and harder to say goodbye after each visit. 


She recently celebrated her fourteenth birthday at the shelter, is attending school, and regularly visits her two-year-old son who is being cared for by the state until Yane is able to care for him. Yane has decided that she will raise her son. An aunt (her father’s sister) has been contacted and is welcoming Yane and her son Cristian to live with her in Lima, the country’s capital, where they will be supported, provided for, and cared for by their aunt. 


As for her abuser, he was taken into custody and is facing a possible life sentence.