Melissa was forced to marry her own father who abused her from the time she was 9 until she was rescued at age 16. For many years her father taught her to believe their relationship was normal. Whenever she attempted to resist her father’s sexual abuse he locked her in the house and starved her. But, at the age of 16, she gained the strength to break her silence and asked for help at school.

Melissa continues to have a hard time opening up in therapy because of the pain that talking about her past causes her to feel. This is particularly difficult because the damage was caused by her own father. Today Melissa is a university graduate who is working full-time and pouring back into the lives of the girls at The Garden House. She is a true example of rising above the past and the harm someone else’s selfishness attempted to cause.