My name is Sadia and I am 28 years old. I was abducted by an armed group and I was detained. During this time, I was raped but I don’t know my attacker. After 19 days, I was released. For fear of further kidnappings in our village, my husband decided that we had to flee to another less dangerous locality where we have family but still in Mali.
I was ashamed of what happened to me. I no longer ate and I no longer slept. I only lived for my children. I can't stand to see men in uniform anymore.
I had pain in my lower abdomen. My husband does not know that I was raped. He keeps asking me what’s wrong but I’m too scared to speak up in case he leaves me.
During a talk, a woman spoke about services that help women with their well-being and health. The women’s group decided to invite the NGO staff member to participate in their next collective contribution group saving meeting. After the meeting, I was able to approach them to ask for help with my pain. The staff directed me to a health center I could go to and get medication. I went there with a woman from the collective contribution group saving. I was not comfortable with people seeing me with the person from the NGO.
Talking with the NGO staff has helped me a lot. I also received money that I was able to use in the collective contribution group saving to be able to generate income. The staff continued to help me often; we stayed in touch. By God’s grace, I am better. I sleep better.
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.