After they interrogated her she was left, handcuffed and blindfolded, outside the interrogation station from 7:00 am until 4:00 pm. Fatima was held in prison for one week and then interrogated again and transferred twice to court. Though proved innocent by her lawyer, she still had to pay a fine in order to be released. Shortly after she returned home, a friend told her about the YMCA’s Rehabilitation Program and she commenced sessions with a counselor shortly afterwards.
Fatima was overjoyed to be back home with her family, but her thoughts were filled with flashbacks of her time in prison, especially of the violence the soldiers inflicted on her. She didn’t want to talk a lot about her experience with her family, but she felt much more comfortable talking with her counselor. She shared that, “I am able to tell my counselor things that I cannot tell my family.” At first, her counselor visited her at her house, but Fatima felt it was much more comfortable for her to conduct the counseling sessions at the YMCA office in Ramallah. Fatima has only been in the program for one month, but it has already helped her to be able to share her experience with people and learn how to handle her fears which she can address much easier now.
Now Fatima is back to school and is picking up with her studies again. She wishes to become a journalist. Fatima advises other youth with similar experience to join the YMCA Rehabilitation program because “they can talk, be themselves, share what is in their heart, and share the things that they talk about with anyone else.” This week, Fatima is looking forward to participating in the Program’s ventilation activities. She is expecting to have fun and spend quality time with other youth with similar experience.