Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
These photos show the dramatic transformation of a pretty woman who says she went from prostituting herself to sustain her crack habit to marrying a former client who helped her turn her life around.
Fabiane de Souza, 27, was only nine years old when she was allegedly raped by her stepbrother, who was 10 years older than her, which started a chain of events that would mark her for the rest of her life.
When speaking about the abuse she suffered as a child, she said: “When I was nine years old, he raped me. That day, I fainted and was rescued by my stepfather who came in minutes afterwards.”
De Souza went on to say the only reason she knew the alleged incident was bad was “because I felt a pain in my soul and thought about killing myself several times” as her mother “never explained to me what it meant.
De Souza lived in Sepetiba in the state of Rio de Janeiro at the time, but her mother separated from her stepfather and they moved away to restart their lives.
The pair lived with De Souza’s maternal grandmother, herself “an alcoholic”, where de Souza “met a drug trafficker that introduced me to cocaine”, prompting her mother to move again.
The pair eventually ended up in a neighbourhood where De Souza’s mum met her current partner who she “left her job for”, leaving the Brazilian girl to care for her younger sister.
At the age of 16, she decided to leave home and “first went to my stepfather, the dad of the man who raped me”.
She said: “I understood it was not his fault. He even apologised for what his son had done. I still call him dad to this day.
“While living at his house, I could not stop taking drugs until one day a friend of mine overdosed and died right in front of me. We were on a hill taking drugs for three days. That is when I decided to stop everything.”
She became a street vendor where she “met another hawker who helped me with sales.
“We became friends and he introduced me to crack cocaine. The taste is like sweet plastic and the feeling is of desperation.
“The wave only lasts for three seconds and then you feel sober again. That is why you want more.
The couple was “involved” but the relationship soon failed and De Souza explained: “I was very addicted to crack. One day I sold everything I had and started staying at friends’ homes.
“I was prostituting myself two days a week. I also worked on a small plane that transported drugs to support my addiction. I was 18 years old.
“A little while after that, I started sleeping on the streets. I was beaten several times, raped in every sense of the word.
“I slept on any corner and I would wake up next to people I had never seen in my life. I was there for four years.”
De Souza eventually moved to the city of Padre Miguel in Rio de Janeiro where she met her current husband and a former client identified as Ney.
When speaking about when they first met, De Souza said: “I made 800 BRL (146 GBP) and spent it all on drugs.
“I had not slept for almost 20 days when Ney found me on the street and saw the state I was in. He took me to a hotel and I slept for an entire week.
“I spent the first three months hating this man. He would not leave me alone. If he gave me money to buy bread, he would come with me.
“He would not let my old friends visit me. He said it was for my own good to not have anything remind me of that past life. A year later, we were all passion and love. We are now finishing our sixth year together.”
The couple moved to the municipality of Queimados in Baixada Fluminense located in Rio de Janeiro where she works in a beauty salon as a hair, makeup and eyebrow stylist.
De Souza warned young people: “Keep away from anything resembling drugs.”
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.