“There is no African culture that supports the violence.” 
Mbuyiselo Botha, male activist, Johannesburg, South Africa

Faida

“I have no hope for the future.


Name:
Faida
Age:
40


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.


Phindi

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


Name:
Phindi
Age:
42


Lizzy

After three days he bought his freedom and got out.” 


Name:
Lizzy
Age: 39

He forced his way in to my father’s home then he rang me and said he would kill everyone, my whole family, so I said I’d go straight over. I went with him and then there was a year of assaults and rape and everything you can imagine.  We used to sell bread on the streets.


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.


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


Magda

“I have never accepted that I’ve been circumcised, because it causes me so much pain. It’s very hard for me to have sex. It hurts. Every time.”


Name:
Magda Nagiub Wahba
Age: 38


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.


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.


Evgenia

 “I was unconscious for three days once after he banged my head against the toilet.”


Name
: Evgenia
Age: 26


Eszter

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


Name:
Eszter
Age: 22