He frequented our house like a member of the family. He was the son of my uncle’s friend whom I knew and considered my family. And yet when I was 14, he defiled me; he raped me. The pain of this rape had not finished consuming me until I found out that I was pregnant by this man. From there, my little girl was born.
I thought nothing worse could happen to me, until my uncle told me that I had an obligation to marry my rapist's father. Despite my refusal, my family insisted, no one listened to me, no one understood me.
I was constantly persecuted by my family and my community who accused me of having a different sexual orientation than usual, of being a lesbian. It was impossible for me to give in this time: I decided not to suffer anymore, I decided to flee. I am now a refugee in Senegal where I live in a precarious situation and separated from my daughter who is working as a maid. My daughter can’t even go to school. UNHCR is helping me and provides me with financial assistance through one partner and another for psychosocial care and follow-up. I try to fight.
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.