I am a woman in my thirties, and mother of three small children, all girls. I am from (country in the conflict region) where I lost my husband and my three boys who were killed by an armed group.
I arrived in Cameroon with my eldest daughter. When I arrived in (XX), confused and not knowing anyone, my daughter and I were greeted and accommodated by a compatriot. One night, he sexually abused me and I found myself pregnant with my second daughter.
My children and I continued to live with him anyway and that's how he became my life partner because I no longer have a family and I don't know anyone in Cameroon. Two years later, I gave birth to my third daughter.
Afterwards, the father of my two youngest children started hitting me to the point that I passed out. He did it at home and even on the road in front of people; he once grabbed my phone and broke it. It was the neighbors who came to arrest him. He even made death threats against the children and me. One day, I went to the community home where I spoke with a social worker from UNHCR’s social partner.
After listening to me, she advised me to go to the police station at my place of residence to file a complaint against him and recommended that I move with the children so that we can be safe, which I have done. She also referred me to the UNHCR health partner, because due to the multiple beatings and loss of consciousness, I now have severe back pain and sometimes have memory loss.
The police are still looking for the father of my two youngest children who has vanished. I continue to live with some fear but I have since had several counseling sessions with the social worker who is following my case and this allowed me to regain my self-confidence and move forward.
The UNHCR social partner accompanied me so that I could send my two eldest daughters to school, who benefit from the school assistance granted to refugee children and provide me with regular financial assistance every three months. This assistance allowed me to start a small business selling fresh food (tomatoes, onions, etc.).
With my story, I would like to call on women and girls beaten by their partners to denounce such situations because it is not the fact they are our husbands or life partners that they have the right to abuse us. We, women, girls, wives, we also have rights and we are protected by law and institutions.
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.