“My family moved to Singapore when I was 9 years old. My father changed jobs multiple times and starting beating my mother out of stress. They fought a lot and my mother returned to China, leaving me with my father and uncle to finish my studies.
The uncle sexually abused me, gave me drinks and cigarettes, and kept offering me money to get what he wanted. Even when I was in pain, my uncle didn’t care. Whenever he got angry, my father scolded me for not doing anything for him – the fact was, I did, but couldn’t tell the truth. I started self-harming, and attempted suicide.
I was brought to the police station after a teacher at school called my child protection officer after noticing that I was going through a crisis. My father and uncle kept calling but I was too afraid to pick up the phone. Eventually, I was warded in the hospital and sent to Dayspring for treatment.
I struggled for a long time trying to overcome my past. I kept blaming myself. I cut myself many times, once even on the neck in front of the other Dayspring girls. But after that cut, I realised that it simply was not worth it to keep hurting myself because it did not solve any problems. So, I stopped self-harming.
Now, I tell myself and others: ‘The past is past. Now is the present. Make sure you live in the present fully and positively.’ I hope that those who have gone through abuse like me can be stronger and not give up – even though it is difficult most of the time.”
Testimony by Li Lin, Alumni of HCSA Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre.