Senait's Story

Abuses while serving in the military seriously affect a young Eritrean woman.

A young woman named Senait* was a soldier in the military in her home country of Eritrea. They had a problem with her, however, and kept punishing her. Senait said she was punished when she made very small mistakes. She didn’t understand why she was being treated this way. It was so bad, she decided to escape and flee to Ethiopia.

Senait said, “When I got to the refugee camp, at first I felt like all the burden on my shoulders was gone off. People were very welcoming here. However,after I was here, I started worrying about my family back home. My problems became very severe, and I felt like I couldn’t control it anymore.”

When her problems reached this point, Senait had a breakdown and was taken to a clinic in the camp. She said, “While I was there, a CVT clinician came to the clinic. She spoke to me and brought me to CVT. Before I came to CVT, I was a person who liked to be by myself. Because of the severity of my condition, I couldn’t listen to people. I couldn’t be in contact with people. I fought with people, my family, my neighbors.”

Senait first did individual counseling until she was more comfortable with people. She then joined the group counseling sessions, which helped her make significant changes and begin to rebuild her life. “I started forming relationships with CVT staff and going out in the camp, making friends and seeing people,” Senait said.

“Now I have changed so much. I give advice to people in the camp when they have difficult situations – I tell them to go to CVT. I don’t ignore people who have problems. I want them to get help. I wish them to have the same help that I got. I appreciate CVT.”

 

*Name and some details have been changed for safety and to protect confidentiality.

 

CVT’s work with Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia is funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

 

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