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The caged bird sings

This is a space where you can hear different voices; our staff and volunteers who have kept the Centre going over the last 40 years, our friends, colleagues and supporters from across the violence against women sector, and people who have used our services and want to share their experiences.

Jade's Story

In 2012 I went through a very dramatic experience, I was raped. The person who raped me the brother of someone who was my friend at that time. I went through all the emotions: guilt, shame and fear before eventually telling my best friend what had happened. She was really supportive which helped when I eventually told my mum and dad. The police were then contacted and I reported the crime. My mum had heard about Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis and she put me in touch with them.

I came to Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis seeking help which was where I met my support worker Paula. I was in a very dark place having gone through the police investigation and I was still in shock. I didn’t know what to do as I couldn’t concentrate but with a supportive family and the support, I received from Paula I started to get stronger.

A Ruby project service user

The Ruby project is a Glasgow Rape Crisis service that offers support to women and girls aged 13 and over who have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives, whether it happened in the UK or in another Rubycountry. Regardless of immigration status or whether a woman has access to public finds, we offer culturally sensitive face to face support and we can provide a female interpreter if that is needed. We also have an independent sexual violence advocacy worker available who works specifically with asylum and refugee women on practical issues.This blog is written by a Ruby project service user and for her safety we have removed words that might identify her.

Hello, this is my first blog and I’m quite new to this, so apologies in advance if I don’t follow proper blogging etiquette. So… Hi everyone. I guess I should begin by stating the obvious about myself which is I am a human. Before I digress about the various labels society has thrust upon me over my lifetime, I felt that I should re-emphasise that, that my real label is a human being. Because in the grand scheme of things, in the blanket of universal truths, or in the presence of a higher power bigger than us, this world and this universe, that is the only label that rings true and it is the only label that matters, that I am a human. I guess saying that makes me sound like I’m very old and I’ve lived a lifetime. Well I’m not really old, but I do feel like I’ve lived a lifetime.

When I was a kid I loved fairy tales, and not just fairy tales but all kinds of stories, fiction, classics, super heroes, anything that involved magic. Magic was my dream, my life, my hope. These stories always had a common theme, someone down on their luck, who’s lost all hope and suddenly… they’re rescued by magic. Perhaps I loved these stories because I could see myself in the characters, or because they gave me a kind of hope or because I simply enjoyed the pleasure of literature. In any case, they did give me a kind of hope and even if it was hope in magic, nonetheless it was hope and that hope kept me alive. It kept alive my innocence, my light, my belief in people, that goodness in you which is so untarnished which every human being must have. I think that might have been my first label, “a child” and in ****** where I grew up, “child” is just a euphemism for “someone’s property”. Inside my house, my real role was that of a punching bag, my label was just “guilty”. What I was actually guilty of, I used to think about it over and over again back then and I still think about it even now. Truth is I’ll never know. Whether I was guilty of being a girl, or guilty of just being born or because I was another living reminder of why my parents could not escape their marriage, I’ll never know. I was guilty for a number of reasons, but for now I want to talk about being guilty because I was a girl, specifically a girl in ******. When people hear “girl in ******”, they often think Forced Marriage. People often see Forced Marriage as something that happens to a girl who is barely almost grown up, but the actual process of Forced Marriage begins much younger than that.

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