“If Joe stayed he would kill someone – me, my brother or my son.”
Cathy, Rockville, USA

Vanessa

“Singing was associated with the suffering, the violence and the fear.”


Name: Vanessa
Age: 33

When he disappeared from my life, so did my great joy: music. I had been singing more or less professionally since I was five years old. My boyfriend and I had performed together, singing and playing in bars and at weddings. Outwardly, we were that perfect, sweet couple who made a living from their music.


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.


Eszter

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


Name:
Eszter
Age: 22


Rosângela

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


Name:
Rosângela
Age: 42


Luciana

“The police didn’t come, even though I rang several times.”


Name:
Luciana
Age:
44


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.


Alma

“He said his fantasy was watching me with other men, but I knew he was taking money from them.”   


Name:
Alma
Age: 41  


Phindi

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


Name:
Phindi
Age:
42


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.


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.


Bushra, Rihana, Parveen and Mary

“We woke up in a room filled with flames and smoke.”


Name:
Bushra, Rihana, Parveen and Mary
Age:
16-23