“I’ve heard my daughter can grow a penis if she is not circumcised.” 
Howayda, Minya, Egypt

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.


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.


Tanya

“No money, no food for the children, no diapers – just six children and another on the way.” 


Name:
Tanya
Age:
44


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


Svetlana

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


Name:
Svetlana
Age: 38


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.


Fátima

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


Name:
Fátima
Lives: 
São Gonçalo


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.


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.


Elena

“It turned out that the medical certificate had disappeared. I expect his father bribed someone.”


Name:
Elena
Age: 24