My mum would 'strangle me' because she was raped

10/06/14

Lejla Damon, 21, currently lives in the UK but she was born in Bosnia.

Her mum was raped repeatedly in a concentration camp.

Lejla's adoptive parents filmed an interview with her birth mum who said she would strangle the baby if she held her, claiming she would "be like the men who had raped her".

Lejla, who was illegally smuggled out of Bosnia, has agreed to share her experience with Newsbeat.

Lejla's story

"They said that, you know, my mum had been raped in a concentration camp. It was extremely scarring. [They told me] She didn't want to look after you."

"My parents said, you know, we should try to save this one. They ok'd it with my birth mum at the time.

"And so they smuggled me out of the country. It was in this sort of bullet proof van. Apparently at times it was a bit hairy."

It wouldn't be one of those meetings where we became friends. I think that too much time has passed
Lejla Damon on meeting her mum

After watching the video of her birth mother being interviewed, Lejla said: "She [her mother] was talking about her ordeal and that during her time in the concentration camps they'd take them out every night, twice a night and you know, completely humiliate them, rape them.

"And then my dad said 'You've got a daughter, would you like to look at her?' She just said 'No'.

"[She said] That I would be like the men who had raped her. And then she said 'I don't want to hold that baby, I'd strangle her'.

"Its one thing seeing it written down, it's another seeing her say it.

"I felt quite rejected obviously, I'm not angry at her, I'm not. These things were completely out of her control.

"If I met her now and she still has that same resentment, when she has actually no real idea about me, I don't think I'd be extremely happy about that, because obviously I'm not at all like that, or like the men that raped her.

"It wouldn't be one of those meetings where we became friends. I think that too much time has passed."

Lejla added that she doesn't know anything about her birth father.

She said: "I would never want to go and meet him, most of the men that did commit rape never got caught, so chances are, he wouldn't be in jail, which would anger me more."

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Angelina

A four-day summit on sexual violence in war is to begin in London, hosted by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict follows a two-year campaign to raise awareness of the issue.

Newsbeat will be broadcasting live from the summit on 10 June.

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