< >


Lanier Lovely, 18

Haitian internally displaced by the earthquake of 12 January 2010.

When the earthquake happened I was in the kitchen preparing a meal when the whole house started shaking. Suddenly, the whole house collapsed and I was injured by rubble falling on my knee. At first I didn’t realise I was bleeding. I kept on helping others who were trapped but then the pain set in and I collapsed. I was crying because I couldn’t find my mother. After the earthquake we slept in the streets. It was difficult because I was in agony, there were dead bodies there and people crying. Two days later we went back to the house to get some clothes and went straight to a camp. Five days later I found my mother. I had gone back to the house to get laundry, that’s when my mother found me. I was so happy, I had thought she was dead.

After six months in the camp I was raped one night. It happened around 4am, I was by myself because people had gone to the countryside for a funeral and he came and threatened me with a knife. I tried to defend myself and then he raped me. I tried to scream but he just closed my mouth with his hand. A caseworker from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) took me to the hospital but unfortunately it was two months later and I was pregnant. I didn't talk to anybody because I didn't want anyone to know.

My boy is called Lovinsky, he’s 15 months old. I’m happy I have him and love him very much. Sometimes I think that if I had had a family, this wouldn’t have happened. Sometimes I cry when I see other children who are living in a family with their fathers who support them.

I never saw the rapist again. I left the camp to stay with my aunt and once the baby was born I moved in with my mother who was staying in a tent, in a camp. I didn’t go to the police myself but IRC staff went and explained what had happened. There’s not enough security in the camp. I don’t feel safe now, maybe the same thing could happen to me again. We need more security and lights at night and those rapists should go to prison.

I hope that God will protect me, and help me, and give me the power to survive and take care of my baby. Hopefully I will leave the camp tomorrow, my mother is going to rent a house, we might move in tomorrow.