“All I want is to marry the man who raped me.”
Shazia, Lahore, Pakistan

Rasha

“It felt like I was being torn to pieces!”


Name:
Rasha
Age: 14

It was a black day. When I got home there was a strange woman there. They held me down and it hurt. It felt like I was being torn to pieces!
The way I feel now is that not everything that people say is true and real, grown-ups don’t know everything. Some of them don’t know anything.

It was done so that we girls will grow up quickly and become modest. But we aren’t modest, we’re just scared.


Maryam

“It’s better to bring the girls up properly than to put them through that. And now my own mother feels the same way!”


Name: 
Maryam Saiid
Age: 32

The midwife had a razor. I bled for a whole week afterwards.
I never talked to my mother about what had happened. It was a forbidden topic of conversation.

I still don’t enjoy sex.


Nyota

“I lied about the rape because I thought my mother would beat me.”


Name:
Nyota
Age:
14

She stands up
during the conversation, she can’t keep her legs together and it hurts too much to sit down. Her mother, Nyabisepela, is furious and wants to tell us what happened. She wants the world to know what happened to her first-born daughter. Nyota also answers our questions. We interview them briefly before we take Nyota to hospital.  


Faranza

“I pray to Allah that no girl ever needs to be born in Pakistan.”


Name:
Faranza
Age:
63

I had six children altogether with my first husband, but only three survived.
We lived with his family, and it wasn’t really my husband who was the main problem, it was my brother-in-law.


Themba

“They called me a bloody lesbian and raped me.”  


Name:
Themba
Age:
29


Lucille

“He wanted my nine-year-old to be awake and to watch.”  


Name: Lucille
Age: 46

There was a man in our neighbourhood who was really popular with all the children. He used to invite them round, he played with them, and he let them play games on his computer. He had four computers in a small apartment. One day he invited me round too, to play Nintendo Wii. I thought it was fun, just like my girls, at least while I was conscious.


Magda

“I have never accepted that I’ve been circumcised, because it causes me so much pain. It’s very hard for me to have sex. It hurts. Every time.”


Name:
Magda Nagiub Wahba
Age: 38


Lizzy

After three days he bought his freedom and got out.” 


Name:
Lizzy
Age: 39

He forced his way in to my father’s home then he rang me and said he would kill everyone, my whole family, so I said I’d go straight over. I went with him and then there was a year of assaults and rape and everything you can imagine.  We used to sell bread on the streets.


Eszter

“I’ve stopped feeling ashamed for something I didn’t do.”


Name:
Eszter
Age: 22


Gulnaz

“The man who threw the acid over me only spent six months in prison.”


Name:
Gulnaz
Age: 43


Svetlana

“We have to share a home. I’ve nowhere to go.”


Name:
Svetlana
Age: 38