...the International Day against Violence against Women. I would like to make some voices heard today, some women I met on my way, and all the others that are invisible and who suffer in silence.
My name is Nouriati, I come from small poor island in the Indian Ocean. In my country, reaching the age of 30 without being married is perceived as a horrible destiny. For my own and my family’s good, my mother found a man in France for me to marry. I remember being so excited about this whole new life opening up to me: France, a romance, children, a happy family! When I arrived in France, I saw the man. He had sent a picture of himself, but at least 20 years had gone by… he was old, fat, and did not look friendly at all. As soon as we got married, he started to rape me every night. After a few weeks he also started to hit me very violently. After he had tried to kill me one night, I fled but had nowhere to go. Paris seemed so big and so alien that it required so much courage from me to leave. I had met a family and I stayed at theirs at the beginning. But the man started to harass me and almost raped me, so I left. I lost all chances of becoming a French citizen, let alone being able to remain legally on the French territory as soon as I left my husband. I have been an undocumented migrant for the past 6 years. I live in the fear of being reported to authorities, I have to bend to all kinds of blackmail that is made to me, I have to accept demeaning and exploiting working conditions, and I constantly live in insecurity. I cannot claim any right. Yet I consider myself as a refugee. My human rights should be guaranteed by the State I live in, I should be protected against abuses from other individuals. How many other women are in my situation? How many other women will come to marry my ex-husband and be faced with the same difficulties until we are recognised as human beings, holders of rights? I have thought about going back to my country, but the guilt and shame have prevented me from doing so. I would be so rejected by my community that I fear so much a return. I don’t know how long I will be able to stay in France illegally, but I would so much wish for this nightmare to end.
My name is Nasiche, I come from an African country where war has been going on for years and years. I have troubles remembering when it actually started. I am 13 years old and I have never been to school. I have a 6 month old baby. A long time ago, I was abducted by soldiers and I forgot all what happened during that time. Actually, I don’t want to remember. I have lost my two arms (someone told me they were cut off), and I have a baby whose father I don’t know… it is a strange life that I am living. I feel dead inside, but my body can move, I can talk, I eat, and I take care of my baby. But I have no feelings. I cannot feel pain nor joy nor excitement, nor fear anymore. Maybe I am simply dead…
My name is Aseya
Please let me keep my clitoris.