“I called the police, who said they would come when I was dead.”
 Tatiana, St Petersburg, Russia

Sheema

“I pray to Allah for forgiveness five times every day.”  


Name:
Sheema
Age:
18 

My sister also works at the brothel. Now that I’ve run away I can’t have any contact with my sister. The brothel madam’s son used to drive us from one customer to another and take all the money.
I’ve done everything the men have asked of me.
I’ve had an abortion.
I pray to Allah for forgiveness five times a day, because I know that what I’ve done is wrong.


Cathy and Michael

“What’s wrong with me, choosing a man like that?”


Name:
Cathy and Michael
Age:
39 and 19

Cathy: 
I’m a Christian, and for me my divorce was a huge failure. I wanted to be married and live a secure and stable family life, that was what I really wanted. He knew that. He made me believe that he wanted the same.


Mapendo

“My husband screamed when they raped me. So they shot him.”  


Name:
Mapendo
Age:
33

My husband, who was standing there tied up and was forced to watch the rape, screamed out. So they shot him. There was a big hole in his back. I tried to break free but one of the rapists stabbed me in the foot with his bayonet.


Svetlana

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


Name:
Svetlana
Age: 38


Carla

“The police held him for a while so I could go back and get some clothes and nappies.”


Name:
Carla
Age: 24


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.


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.


Phindi

“I just stood there, holding a pan of boiling water I was going to throw over him.”  


Name:
Phindi
Age:
42


Anette

“They threw me out of the hospital. Junkie, they thought.”


Name:
Anette
Age: 53

We smoked hash
and sniffed stuff in the park, and broke into the supermarkets.  I might have stopped doing all that if I hadn’t discovered amphetamines. When I put the needle into my arm I knew I’d come home.


Fátima

“After my daughter was murdered, I slept for six months.”


Name:
Fátima
Lives: 
São Gonçalo


Nur

Nur

“He beat me so hard that I left home many times. The police used to pick me up and make me go home again.”


Name:
Nur
Age: 17

Almost a year had passed since my mother died. She had divorced my father because he was violent, but she died of a heart disease. That’s why I was living with my father.