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.

Fátima

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


Name:
Fátima
Lives: 
São Gonçalo


Akhtar

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


Name:
Akhtar
Age: 35


Laksmi

“My father said: If you’ve kidnapped the children I’ll help your husband to get them back.”


Name:
Laksmi
Age: 30 


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.  


Elena

“It turned out that the medical certificate had disappeared. I expect his father bribed someone.”


Name:
Elena
Age: 24


Carla

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


Name:
Carla
Age: 24


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.


Emerance

“Half my family died that night.”


Name:
Emerance
Age:
20

One of the soldiers grabbed hold of me and tied me to him with his belt. My father protested, he said I was too young, they couldn’t take me with them. My brother got really angry and shouted at them to let me go. They shot him. He died instantly.


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


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.


Tanya

“No money, no food for the children, no diapers – just six children and another on the way.” 


Name:
Tanya
Age:
44