I am Khadija, a young refugee woman who lived in a refugee camp for 9 years. I am the mother of a 7-year-old daughter. My child’s father abandoned us 5 years ago.
After the camp closed, some refugees opted for local integration. Being a single woman Head of household, I also chose this option to receive support to boost my income generating activities (IGA) waiting to get my residence permit.
I moved to town after leaving the camp. The neighborhood where I lived was surrounded by armed men (militias). One day, while going to do laundry by a water source, an unknown gunman followed me. In the bush when I was alone, he grabbed me by force and raped me.
After this rape, I did not confide in my relatives for fear of being repudiated by my (Muslim) community. A month later, suffering from discomfort accompanied by vomiting, I went to the hospital where I was told that I was about 1 month pregnant.
My older sister, with whom I was living, then rejected me and kicked me out with my first daughter. Today my second daughter from the rape is 9 months old.
I was referred and taken care of by a medical organization, a UNHCR partner. I have lost everything and can no longer exercise. It is very difficult for me to support myself and my daughters. I now live with my mother and cannot get on with my life as I am isolated and suffer greatly from the rejection of my community.
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.