Tejus Home is the first, and as far as we know only, home for abused, pregnant teenagers in India. So far we have welcomed 52 girls aged 12 to 18, generally half way through pregnancy, socially stigmatized and rejected by the family. Along with our partner, Birth For Change, DIL SE offers the possibility of a healthy pregnancy thanks to quality and respectful maternal health care with midwives, other medical professionals such as Govt. and Pvt. sector hospitals and Ultra sound scan centres.
Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is extremely prevalent all over the world. In India the statistics for CSA are one in five. This is for girls and boys, rich or poor, from North or from South, educated or not. The subject, as it is globally, is quite taboo here and therefore if a young girl is abused and becomes pregnant, very often the pregnancy will only be discovered when it becomes visible. By then, there is nothing more to do except try and keep both the girl and the baby as healthy as possible.
This project, meaning Tejus Home as a whole, has so far helped 46 girls and their babies. One of the main advantages of this home for the girls is the non-judgmental environment that is provided. They arrive often in a very difficult state of emotions and in a short time relax, knowing that the abuse has stopped, that they are now safe and in good hands. Our main concern is then the health of the girl and her baby so a lot of importance is put on nutrition, exercise and self-confidence.
The home is a place for transition and healing. The girls go from being pregnant to becoming mothers (even if many of the girls choose to relinquish their baby for adoption). They go from being scared and lost to becoming empowered (partly through being able to give birth naturally). They go from being rejected to being accepted (at least by us). Through our dedication to educate, advocate and support, we ensure that the girls who are in our care, get back to life with renewed commitment.