June 2010, I fled to a women’s shelter after seeing a psychologist. I was haemorrhaging in my left cheek and had a bite mark on my left jaw. I had been exposed to the seven types of violence and had been beaten for six months. After I fled, he tried to find me again a year later.
I graduated as an animal care specialist specialising in zoo care in August 2010. I could not believe I was finished, because I had been so isolated from my friends and family during the year and a half of my education. To get away from my ex-boyfriend, who was violent and prevented me from doing homework when I got home, I used all my breaks in school and stayed at school when classes were over to study for my final exams.
I moved seven times in three years. In 2012, following my sixth move, I began taking medication for anxiety. I was constantly stressed, fearing the worst and unable to find any kind of inner peace. One morning in July 3013, I decided I no longer wished to live that way. I was afraid that I would suffer the same fate as my father. I threw the pills away, cancelled my lease and decided to become a volunteer, travelling the world to help care for wild animals. I had dreamed of travelling and challenging myself since I was a young girl.
I was offered a volunteer position at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) from October 1, 2013 until December 23, 2013. I accepted the position, and the head of the centre recommended that I take some classes to improve my English, which was weak at the time. I took classes in Manchester, England for 14 days that September. I lived with my host family there until I travelled alone to BSBCC, which is located in Malaysia. For the first time in my life, I felt alive. I knew at that moment that my life’s work is to rescue and be a voice for wild animals that suffer greatly at the hands of mankind. I created a website and took classes. I worked on my website every day after work. Three days before I was scheduled to go home, I was in town with some colleagues when I was drugged and raped. I lived in fear for three months that the attack would leave me HIV positive, but it did not.