“There was nothing in my medical training to tell me how I should help the women.”
Natalia Lokhmatkina, doctor, St Petersburg, Russia

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.


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.


Svetlana

“We have to share a home. I’ve nowhere to go.”


Name:
Svetlana
Age: 38


Javiera

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


Name:
Javiera
Age: 33


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.


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  


Gulnaz

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


Name:
Gulnaz
Age: 43


Shazia

“All I want is to marry the man who raped me.”


Name:
Shazia
Age:
15


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.


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.