RAPED AT 12 - ... But teenage mom finds renewed purpose
Ann Brown* was deemed to be in need of care and protection after she was molested by a friend of her guardian when she was 12 years old.
Still a teenager, Ann is now the mother of a two-year-old boy, who she said has given her a new outlook on life, quite the opposite of how she felt years ago.
When the news team visited her earlier this week, Ann was walking her toddler. She glowed with admiration and showered him with kisses when he asked her to open a snack he was holding.
The former ward of the state said she got pregnant while she was staying at a child-care facility and attending a high school in St Catherine.
"I was able to go to school off the compound and all of my little friends had boyfriends so I wanted one too. I am at the home from I was 12, and the only intercourse I ever had was when I was molested, so I didn't even know much about sex, so I went out and did it and I got pregnant and didn't even know," she said.
Brown said she had regular periods during her pregnancy and didn't find out that she was with child until she was seven months along, noticed by a staff member at the home.
Those cannot be true
"I was fat so my belly didn't show. One day, myself and other wards went out to a movie, and when I got back in the bus I couldn't hold in the space I was sitting and my pants couldn't lock. When I got back in one of the ladies asked why my pants couldn't lock and I told her I didn't know. She had me take about four pregnancy tests and all of them came positive. I said 'Miss, those cannot be true'," she said.
Brown said she fell into depression after finding out she was pregnant and prayed for the death of her unborn child.
"I wanted to kill him. I remember just falling down about 100 steps just to kill him, but that never happened. I slipped in the bathroom and I fight a lot, but my son was determined to live," she said, noting she became depressed after initial tests indicated she may have had twins. Brown was sad again after giving birth because she wanted a girl.
"I was crying and then I looked down on my son and all I could see was pure innocence and he was very cute. I remember just looking down at him and saying to myself that he deserved to live and I fell in love with him at that instant," she said.
Recently released from the government facility that she was staying, Brown said she hopes to become a psychologist.
She gained six subjects in this years Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams and hopes to get a job to pay for her tertiary education.
"I am at a happy place. I have put my past behind me and is moving on with my life. It wasn't easy but my son helped me with this. All I want to tell other teenagers is that being a single mother isn't easy so be careful and don't get pregnant," Brown said.
*Name changed to protect identity.