I am a young refugee woman, the oldest of my siblings. I live with my father but am motherless. Unfortunately, I was unable to continue my studies due to the problems encountered due to the conflicts in my home country (I was in low spirits).
My ordeal began in June 2020 when I obtained permission from my father to spend a few days with an aunt. Once there, I fell ill to the point of losing consciousness and according to thier interpretations, I was haunted by evil spirits. My aunt then sent for her marabout to treat me. The latter consulted me with a few chants. Then he told me that I should not leave the room until he finishes the treatment and I do whatever he asks so I can be saved. He would come every morning and night to give me a drink of water mixed with ‘medicines’ of which I do not know the composition, for several days.
In his presence, no one else had the right to access my room. The more I drank his concoction, the more my health deteriorated.
Over time, I realized that the marabout had sexually abused me on several occasions. When I wanted to react, he told me that he made a pact with the spirits and that I should marry him if I want to be healthy. I refused this despite his threats, I was no longer taking his concoction.
I explained the situation to my aunt who accused me of consenting to sex because I am not a child. This reaction from my aunt put me in a depressed state until she sent to call my father who took me home.
Once home, I continued with depression to the point where my father demanded my aunt to put him in contact with the marabout. During the interview with my father, the marabout made it clear to him that as long as he does not marry me, I will always be sick, something that my father and I categorically refused. My father then took steps to allow me to recover my health.
I was then referred to UNHCR’s partner in charge of the Legal and Psychosocial Assistance component for follow-up and also referred to UNHCR’s medical partner where a medical assessment was done.
My life was saved thanks to psychosocial support because at one point I almost committed suicide because I saw my future as so dark and I couldn't accept what had happened to me
Then with my father, we began to approach the judicial police to file a complaint against the marabout who was indeed arrested. The marabout received a prison sentence of 5 years for rape and 2 years for criminal acts in accordance with the laws of Chad.
I encourage women and girls who are survivors of sexual and gender-based violence to speak out against these criminal, abusive acts. Denouncing allows us to be heard and above all to demand justice because if justice is not served, another woman or girl can fall into the same situation.
1. Rape: vaginal, anal or oral penetration without consent (even superficial), using the penis or another part of the body. Also applies to inserting an object into the vagina or anus.
2. Sexual assault: any form of sexual contact without consent that does not lead to or is not based on an act of penetration. Among other examples: attempted rape, as well as unwanted kissing, fondling and touching the genitals or buttocks. FGM is an act of violence that damages the sexual organs; they should therefore be classified as sexual assault. This type of incident does not include rape (which consists of an act of penetration).
3. It is considered that in the WCA region, 1 in 3 women have been sexually assaulted, and 1 in 5 raped.