In Russia there are 200 beds for women who have been subjected to violence and who need a safe haven – in a country with 142 million inhabitants.

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 Doctors

“No-one really knows how to circumcise a woman.”


Who:
Magda Adly and Joseph Kamel.
What: Magda works with rehabilitation of victims of torture and violence in the home, and Joseph is a local doctor.  


The Veteran

“I said I had two other options: I could become a beggar or a prostitute.”


Who:
Ana Maria Perez del Campo
What: Started a women’s shelter where the women stay for eighteen months. So far no-one has returned to her violent husband after her stay.


The Home For Young Mothers

“When the girls begin to think about the future, about what they will do when they leave here, then we can stop worrying.”


Who:
Abrigo Rainha Silvia
What:
Offers protection to young women who are pregnant and victims of violence.


The Researcher

“It is still the woman who is given the blame. People say it’s her responsibility to hold the family together.”


Who:
Natalia Lokhmatkina
What: PhD in the study of abused women in the Russian healthcare system.


The Conversation Group

“If he beats me I’ll leave him – or will I?”


Who:
Lise-Lotte Nielsen and Ann-Margret Fick
What:
Social workers who lead conversation groups for abused women, organised by the social services.


The Home for Young Mothers

“We won’t hide the girls away, they have nothing to be ashamed of and they have rights.”


Who:
Hope Village Society’s home for young mothers.
What: Offers support and education to street children who have become pregnant.


The Lawyers

“With armed guards for protection.”


Who:
Hina Jilani and Asma Jahangir
What:
As lawyers, they pursue questions relating to women’s human rights.


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.”


The Night Patrol

“I never think about tomorrow. I think about what’s happening now.”   


Who:
Ahmed Samy Ali and Khaled Abo-El Fadl.
What: Social workers who seek out street children.

In the front of the vehicle there are some seats and a table. On the table is a notebook. At the back of the bus there is an open space with a pile of newspapers in a corner.  


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.