My name is Mahamane and I am a refugee who speaks only Arabic. I know a young Nigerien who also speaks Arabic at the place where I often go for tea. I’m happy to have a new friend who I can talk to. He’s very cool and offered me a ride one day. We made an appointment the next day. I don’t know the city very well and I am very reserved. I am a homosexual and where I come from homosexuals are discriminated against. My friend doesn’t know.
The appointment’s day, he sends me to a very remote place where there are orange trees. This place has a very large fence with gardens. I don’t know why, but my friend is making sexual advances at me. I’m so happy, just to meet someone like me. I accept his advances and we make love.
Suddenly, 3 young people appear out of nowhere. I realize these are his friends. They hold me by the feet and the arms. They take turns raping me. I scream, it hurts, no one can hear me. After their finish, they beat me and leave.
An elderly man comes to my aid and takes me to the center where I live with UNHCR’s help. I meet with UNHCR staff. I explain to them what happened to me. I explain that I was raped by 4 people.
I am taken care of. But today, I’m so scared I can’t get out. I lost my confidence, I just got raped in the country that was supposed to protect me. But I was able to count on wonderful UNHCR staff who continue to follow me and make sure that I get better and better.
This is my story.
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.