“I have never accepted the fact that I have been circumcised, because it causes me so much pain. It’s very hard for me to have sex.”
Magda, Minya, Egypt

The Support Person

“Those four months changed my life.”


Who:
Paulina Bengtson
What:
Runs Novahuset, a voluntary association which supports victims of sexual assault.

“Actually, I had a feeling straight away that something was wrong. He looked like someone from the Mafia, not at all as gentle as he’d seemed. But I was gullible and ignored my own warning signals. I was used to trusting people.”


The Judge

“We see a lot of trifling matters here at the same time as other victims don’t even report serious crimes such as incest.”


Who:
Paloma Mari
What: Is a judge in one of Spain’s specialised courts for violence against women.


Transit and Safety House

The women are so keen to learn.”


Who:
Maison Dorcas
What:
Help Panzi Hospital’s patients who have been the victims of violence to make the transition back into society.


The Police

“Have you got any children he knows aren’t his? Does he spy on you, or leave threatening messages?”


Who:
Family Crimes Division, Department of Police
What:
Prioritise cases of violence against women.  


Panzi Hospital

“Would a male lion destroy a female lion’s genitals? It’s unthinkable.”  


Who:
Panzi Hospital
What:
Treats survivors of sexual violence and women with severe gynaecological problems.


The Psychologists

“When I started working I was naive, and my aim was to have families reunited.”


Who:
Elena Zolotilova and Tatiana Pavlova
What: Fighting to open the city’s first women’s shelter.


The Inspiration For A Law

The number of cases reported to the police is growing by the day.”


Who:
Maria Da Penha
What:
Brazil’s new law on violence against women bears her name. She herself runs an institute to spread information about the law.


The School for Fathers

“The most important thing is that the men don’t need to feel they are alone with their questions, feelings and expectations.”


Who:
Sergey Zakharow
What: Child psychologist who holds courses for fathers-to-be. 


The Teacher

“If someone wants to murder me, they will.”  


Who:
Marisela Ortiz Rivera
What: Leads the association “Give us back our daughters”, at the risk of her life.


The Men’s Network

“Maybe it was time to shoot a few men … ?”


Who: 
Hans Hansson
What: 
Started the men’s network in Piteå and runs treatment sessions for violent men.


The Midwife

“When I look back on it, I feel genuine regret and compassion.” 


Who:
Enayat Abdelhanid
What: Midwife who has changed her opinion and is now opposed to genital mutilation.

“I used to circumcise up to twenty girls a day, and I was paid in money, tea and sugar. We used to cut out three parts. We held the girl down and she usually screamed. When I look back on it, I feel genuine regret and compassion.”