“The most important thing is that the men don’t need to feel they are alone with their questions, feelings and expectations.”
Sergey Zakharow, who educates fathers in St Petersburg, Russia

Laksmi

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


Name:
Laksmi
Age: 30 


Susana

“It feels strange to think of yourself as a victim.”


Name:
Susana
Age: 41

I only really wanted a sexual relationship. I’d been alone for three years and I had a good life. I didn’t want anything at all to do with men. But after our first night together he came back almost every day, even though we hadn’t arranged anything; and he was often drunk.


Mariana

“When I was nine years old he made a woman of me.”


Name
: Mariana
Age: 32 


Faranza

“I pray to Allah that no girl ever needs to be born in Pakistan.”


Name:
Faranza
Age:
63

I had six children altogether with my first husband, but only three survived.
We lived with his family, and it wasn’t really my husband who was the main problem, it was my brother-in-law.


Eva-Britt

“Ten years after the first blow I was elected to the European Parliament.”


Name:
Eva-Britt
Age: 64

We hadn’t argued or anything like that. I’d been down in the basement to collect the washing. Then it just exploded. After that it quickly got worse.  He called me a “bloody whore” and started watching my every move. I don’t really understand why he changed. I’d made my mind up to find out but I didn’t get the chance. He died a couple of years back, so I still don’t know.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Maryam

“It’s better to bring the girls up properly than to put them through that. And now my own mother feels the same way!”


Name: 
Maryam Saiid
Age: 32

The midwife had a razor. I bled for a whole week afterwards.
I never talked to my mother about what had happened. It was a forbidden topic of conversation.

I still don’t enjoy sex.


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.