BY TARA CULP-RESSLER ON AUGUST 29, 2013
When Alejandra Pereyra wrote a letter to Pope Francis earlier this month, she wanted to convey the pain that resulted from her rape and abuse at the hands of Argentinian law enforcement. After her family was repeatedly harassed by the police, an officer raped her at gunpoint. “With all the pain I carry in my heart dear Holy Father, I ask you for your help,” Pereyra wrote.
She didn’t expect the kind of response that she received.
On Sunday, Pereya’s phone rang — and Pope Francis was on the other end of the line. “I started crying… He told me to be calm and that he was calling because he had read my letter and my story struck him,” Pereya recounted later on Argentinian television. “He restored faith and peace in me and gave me strength to carry on fighting.”
Pereya emailed her letter to the Vatican in mid-August. The pope receives hundreds of letters each day, but hers struck a chord with him and he decided to reach out. The crimes committed against Pereyra continue to go unpunished, because the judge who is in charge of the case is worried he’ll face personal repercussions for going after law enforcement.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.