“Men benefit more by talking about “our culture”.”
Kgosi Mabe, tribal king, Mabeskraal, South Africa

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.


Martha

“I have to have money so I can protect my child.”

Name: Martha
Age: 14

It was dark. I learned that I could walk into the town centre to get something to eat and clean clothes but I always went back to the railway station.  After a while I was arrested there and locked up. My father came and got me and took me back to Minya but I ran away again. I went back to the railway station and the boys and girls there. I was better off there.

I don’t know what the future holds.


Carla

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


Name:
Carla
Age: 24


Tatiana

“I called the police, who said they’d come when I was dead.”


Name
: Tatiana
Age: 50 

When he was drunk and angry, he beat me. I called the police, who said they’d come when I was dead.
I went on reporting him. Once he was fined 70 dollars because he’d almost strangled me.

The problem was always that he’s partially sighted, although I’m convinced he’s faking it.  But no-one believed me, that I could be the victim. I mean, he was disabled!


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.


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.


Ann

Ann

“I don’t want to stop hating, it’s my right.”


Name:
Ann
Age: 35

Things were always chaotic in my family. My mother died, I was young when I left home and I had a few dramas with boyfriends.


Maryam

“I went to the police and said: Is there anyone here who’d like to adopt me? Or lock me up?”


Namn:
Maryam
Age: 15

My brothers and sisters went off to the town with my mother, and she found another man but he abused my sister. Soon my sister was working as a prostitute. So I went to the police and said: “Is there anyone here who’d like to adopt me? Or lock me up? Do something, anything, because my mother is so awful.”


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.  


Monique

“I made my mind up when he started beating our son.”


Name:
Monique
Age: 26

He didn’t want me to leave the house for anything, suspected me of all kinds of things, and when he had beaten me he used to lock me in the house so no-one would see my injuries.
He didn’t drink and he didn’t take drugs. He was just crazy. He threatened to beat me to death if I reported him to police.