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Carmen Villeda

Professor Batty

English 101

May 28,2018

A Cry for Help

In Sill Water Saints, by Alex Espinoza, there is a character named Rodrigo Able Zamora. When

Rodrigo is introduced he is about 15 years old and lives in a small town in Mexico. He leaves his home with

little money he has to go to Tijuana. Along the way he finds his way to Agua Masa, California and meets

Perla, who is old woman who owns a Botanica store, and ask her to teach him English. She slowly starts to

care and worry for Rodrigo as he slowly tells her about himself. She starts to realize that his behavior is odd

and see his injuries. The problems this character faces are very harsh compare to the other characters that are

introduce in this book. He has to deal with physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and on top of that he an

illegal immigrant. The message I learned from Rodrigo was that you may love or trust someone so much

you will follow them until they abuse you in any way for their own gain, losing trust in other people; though

you may be scared from what they done to you, we must try and reach out to someone, ask for help, no

matter what it takes.

Many people Believe that sexual assault happen to women, but the fact is that 10% of

men can also be sexually assaulted. Men and women who are sexually assaulted suffer from

PTSD, and other emotional problems as a result. Young men and male's adolescent (average age

of 17) are more likely to be sexually assaulted compared to females. National Sexual Assault

hotline says that every 8 minuets, child protective services substantiate, or find evidence for a

claim of child sexual abuse between the ages of 11 to 17years of age. Rodrigo suffered the

effects of his abuser and became a victim of sexual assault. Due to him being rape it cause him to
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have PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. Boys are more likely to be assaulted by a stranger or

authoritative figure. Young men that are assaulted by someone they know and see as an adult

figure are often scared to speak out due to the norm of men being strong. Not only do the adult

figure abuse them, but they find a way to keep their victims quiet. Rodrigo trusted and looked up

to the man who took him away from Tijuana, as time went on he became stress with his own life

and took it out on Rodrigo, not knowing what was going on and not understanding what was

happening. He looked up to him to only be abuse and threaten causing Rodrigo to be scared and

unstable.

Rodrigo suffered a lot, to being a physically abuse to being rape by the person who he

trusted, he became scared. Victims of abuse- physical, verbal, or emotional maltreatment- can

cause a person pain and psychological distress leading to anxiety, dissociation, guilt, and trust

issues. Rodrigo was scared of running away, asking for help, scared of churches, being killed by

coyotes, scared of everything around him. Due to him being in a different country he can't speak

English and only knows slang words and profanity words. He was verbally abuse believing the

lies the words of the people who sold him and of his abusers. It causes him to be paranoid and

having trouble coping with himself. Espinoza mention in his book "Why is everyone so afraid?"

(Espinoza 75) Everyone is afraid of something when they become aware of their surroundings.

Rodrigo was not only afraid of everyone but also everything surrounding him. He was so afraid

he couldn't trust to the very people that were there to protect him.

When we are in trouble or in an emergency we call for help and come someone will come

to our aid. Sometimes we don’t wish to speak to the police or doctor thinking they will judges us

or can't understand what has happen. There are hot lines, such as RAINN, open to help and clam

the person down. They are able to help you get through your abuse. The U.S. Citizenship and
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Immigration Services say that regardless of immigration or citizenship status, all people are

guaranteed basic protection under bother civil and criminal law. If Rodrigo knew any of this

information he could've gotten help, but due to not understanding English and laws in this

country he was scared to call for help. He did not seek for these people for help, instead he

reached out to Perla writing a letter to her saying "Senora I came to looking for you but you are

gone I come back soon. I am needing your help. I am afraid...Please be here." (Espinoza 113) He

turn to the only person he could trust and ask for help, even if she was not there he left a note

trusting her to help him.

Regardless of anyone's background, we should help the persona who has been abused and

to get them back onto their feet for they can talk about it and try to stop it from happening to

someone else. Abuse is not in one place, it is everywhere. A Statistic from The National

Domestic Violence Hotline say children who are exposed to violence in the home are more likely

to be physically and/or sexually assaulted. It's hard to stop the abuse, but all it takes is one person

to speak out for it can stop. There will times where that child will runaway trying to find a safe

haven. They will cling to the closes person they see, showing them kindness and trust. It will

take years of therapy for them to slowly open up and interact with other. They will still be having

flashbacks of what happen to them. A survivor of abuse will have a hard time coping with

themselves due to the negative feeling even after the they been taken from their abuser. The

abuse causes a person to have anxiety, anger issues, dissociation, feeling of guilt and shame, self-

destructive issue, and trust issue. It would be easier for them to talk with someone who has gone

through the same experience as them and help them cope. Create a safe environment, be

welcoming to them and be patient and respectful to them


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When we are scared we want to run away and hide, not asking anyone for help. The

pressure builds up and become disconnect from others. We have all suffered a type of abuse,

whether it was physical, sexually, or emotionally, we may have realized it or we may have not. It

slowly built up. In a relationship, you take care of each other's, but sometimes one you become

more dependent on your partner asking more of them and it becomes an emotion toll on them

which, it emotion abuse and slowly leads to physical abuse. No one should be abuse for

whatever the reason. We should try to be brave and reach out to someone to someone even if we

are scared to talk. Rodrigo reach out and Perla went looking for him to help. Rodrigo reach out to

Perla, but he didn’t wait for her to help him. He couldn’t take the abuse any longer and attack his

abusers and protect himself. Not knowing if someone will come to your aid, we have to protect

ourselves and find to find a way to escape your abuser. You may love anyone or trust someone

all you want but once you see and start to abuse you in anyway, physically, sexually, or

emotionally, we need to reach out to someone and tell them what they are doing for we don’t

suffer the effect of what comes after and, all it takes is to reach out to someone for help.

Leaving a small note at someone doorstep, calling a hotline for help, or calling the police

to come save you try to find a way to escape for your abuser and survive to help someone else

who has been in the same situation you went though. Sign of abuse are hard to see and brush it

off when we ask if that person is alright, we just have to be patience with them. Abuse will create

scars that will take time to heal, some lasting a life time to heal. Be there for that family member

or friend, don’t let them suffer by themselves, try to share burden. In our life time we have all

face a type of abuse, physically, sexually, emotional or verbally, and may hoe not notices, but we

should always be ready to help anyone that cries out for help. Be ready because one day you
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might end up helping victim of abuse or we become a victim of abuse and cry to someone to help

us. Let's have our eyes and eyes open to help them, because we become that person lifesaver.
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Works Cited

Issues Treated in Therapy (2017), Abuse/Survivors of Abuse, Good Therapy


https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/abuse

Sexual Assault Hotline (2018), Sexual Assault and Rape Resources, Joyful Heart
Foundation
http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/learn/sexual-assault-and-
rape/resources/hotlines-and-more-information

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2011), Information on Legal Rights


Available to Immigrants Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and
Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa Fact Sheet, U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services
https://www.uscis.gov/news/fact-sheets/information-legal-rights-available-
immigrant-victims-domestic-violence-united-states-and-facts-about-immigrating-
marriage-based-visa-fact-sheet

Espinoza, Alex. Still Water Saints: A Novel. Picador, 2013