“Would a male lion destroy a female lion’s genitals? It’s unthinkable.”
Denis Mukwege, doctor, Bukavu, Congo

Alma

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


Name:
Alma
Age: 41  


Elizabeth

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


Name:
Elizabeth
Age:
23


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.


Lucille

“He wanted my nine-year-old to be awake and to watch.”  


Name: Lucille
Age: 46

There was a man in our neighbourhood who was really popular with all the children. He used to invite them round, he played with them, and he let them play games on his computer. He had four computers in a small apartment. One day he invited me round too, to play Nintendo Wii. I thought it was fun, just like my girls, at least while I was conscious.


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.


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!


Wendy

“I’m afraid, but I have to cope.”


Name:
Wendy
Age: 34

My plan is to find a job where I can look after children, or work in a shop, but I can’t work in a factory because I can’t lift heavy things. I’ve developed osteoporosis, after all the pregnancies. I’ve got four children who are alive, and I lost one in the fourth month.


Javiera

“He laid the shame on me by saying – Look what you made me do.”


Name:
Javiera
Age: 33


Nicole

“My abusers will win if I don’t make something of my life.”


Name:
Nicole
Age:
63


Fátima

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


Name:
Fátima
Lives: 
São Gonçalo


Luciana

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


Name:
Luciana
Age:
44