Someone who murders in the name of honour in Pakistan can be “forgiven” by the woman’s family and go free.

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.


Eva-Britt

“Ten years after the first blow I was elected to the European Parliament.”


Name:
Eva-Britt
Age: 64

We hadn’t argued or anything like that. I’d been down in the basement to collect the washing. Then it just exploded. After that it quickly got worse.  He called me a “bloody whore” and started watching my every move. I don’t really understand why he changed. I’d made my mind up to find out but I didn’t get the chance. He died a couple of years back, so I still don’t know.


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.


Akhtar

“You can’t live on your own when you’re a woman in Pakistan. Never.”


Name:
Akhtar
Age: 35


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.


Phindi

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


Name:
Phindi
Age:
42


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.


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.


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.


Elizabeth

“I asked him to forgive me for making him beat me.”


Name:
Elizabeth
Age:
23


Fátima

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


Name:
Fátima
Lives: 
São Gonçalo