“The man who threw the acid over me only spent six months in prison.”
Gulnaz, Bahawalpur, Pakistan

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.


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.


Love

“I became a child soldier to avenge my father’s death.” 


Name:
Love
Age:
22


Blessing

“I was only three the first time someone took my pants off and put his finger inside me.” 


Name:
Blessing
Age:
27


Phindi

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


Name:
Phindi
Age:
42


Elizabeth

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


Name:
Elizabeth
Age:
23


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


Eszter

“I’ve stopped feeling ashamed for something I didn’t do.”


Name:
Eszter
Age: 22


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.


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.


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.