“Would a male lion destroy a female lion’s genitals? It’s unthinkable.”
Denis Mukwege, doctor, Bukavu, Congo

Svetlana

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


Name:
Svetlana
Age: 38


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.


Faida

“I have no hope for the future.


Name:
Faida
Age:
40


Henna

“I’m glad he’s a boy.”


Name:
Henna
Age: 21

I left my family when I was 16. I’d had enough. My father was away working in different jobs most of the time, and my mother only cared about my brother and wouldn’t let me have any friends of my own. So I left home and joined up with some other girls. Life on the street has taught me that I’m a survivor, I’ve worked and I’ve managed to look after myself.

They can’t buy my soul, and they can’t buy my heart.


Carina

“My daughter lives with him, even though she’s seen him hit me. It makes me so sad.”


Name:
Carina
Age:
51

Several months had passed
before I decided to report the last time. I had five fractures to my face.  The injuries had healed but I’ve got pictures which I took myself on my mobile phone. I sent them to my friend so he wouldn’t find them.  The photographs, together with the medical certificate, were enough.


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.


Rosângela

“I was a victim, but I’m not a victim now.”


Name:
Rosângela
Age: 42


Márcia

“The boy on the phone had exactly the same name as my husband, with ‘junior’ at the end.”


Name:
Márcia
Age: 49 

He spent more and more nights away from home. He didn’t want me to work, said I didn’t need to. My job was to be at home with the children. After a while I managed to pass my driving test but he has never allowed me to drive. Now I understand that he wanted to keep me at home, and that I should be completely dependent on him.


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.


Susana

“It feels strange to think of yourself as a victim.”


Name:
Susana
Age: 41

I only really wanted a sexual relationship. I’d been alone for three years and I had a good life. I didn’t want anything at all to do with men. But after our first night together he came back almost every day, even though we hadn’t arranged anything; and he was often drunk.


Rafaela

“He’s changed. He’s a new man and I love him.”


Name:
Rafaela
Age: 24

I broke up with him several times and went back to live with my mother, but I always went back to him. He was so full of regret, and I love him.