Female, 13 Years Old
When thirteen-year-old Josey is asked what kind of family she would like to live with, she says, “I just want someone who is nice.” What seems a simple request means everything to a child who has suffered trauma and abuse.
Josey was only ten years old when she was brought to the United States from Mexico to live with her biological mother. Living with her mother who worked as a prostitute out of their home, exposed to drugs and unable to speak English, Josey experienced severe culture shock.
When a report was made about Josey’s situation, she was pulled from her mother’s care and sent to live with an aunt and uncle. For a year she endured beatings with a belt and a broom and burnings with a lighter as a way to punish her. After reports of suspected abuse, Josey was brought to the VIP Community-Based Assessment and Treatment Center, where she was able to safely disclose her situation and receive care from VIP’s expert therapists. Although her aunt and uncle fled, abandoning Josey, but were soon arrested.
With the help of a social worker and VIP staff, Josey was placed in a healthy foster situation with a possibility of adoption and has begun to thrive. Although she still struggles with relationships and boundaries, in her twice-weekly counseling sessions with VIP’s Youth Placement Stabilization Team, she is learning to understand that what she suffered was abuse. At 13, Josey is now on the honor roll at her school and involved in student government. She likes to write in her journal and draw. Thanks to your support of the work at VIP, Josey is discovering what “nice” means, and even better, what it means to be cared for and loved.