Sunday, 19 October 2014

Female Genital Mutilation - a Survivor story

As we continue with our campaign, here is a Survivor story,

Suzie * ( name has been changed) was only nine when her Grandmother attempted to subject her to Female Genital Mutilation.

I was 9 when my maternal grandmother visited us. Like any other children I thought it was just a normal visit. The following day nanny woke me early in the morning. She took me to the bathroom and said to me in a stern voice: "I am going to help you to become a proper woman. She then asked me to perform a procedure on myself every morning and she would come and check.

"But nanny...., ? "

"No questions, you do as you are told. We all have done it, your mother,my mother and every woman you see. If you don't, no man is going to be interested in you. I will check your progress in the weeks I am here till I am satisfied, she said.
She left the bathroom. I was scared. She told me if I did not do as I was told I would be in trouble.

I sat on the bathroom floor upset. Later I went to school as normal ,tempted to ask other girls but nanny had made me swear not to tell anybody.She told me it was every woman’s secret.

The following day she woke me again to go to the bathroom and made me perform and act on myself which was incredibly painful. I was dumbfounded. I swore I was not going to do it from that moment. I could not walk properly that day and missed school. For the next two weeks nanny woke me every day but I just sat on the bathroom floor dozing. I was relieved when she finally left.
I swore that as an adult I was going to look for answers, why should older women, women that are supposed to care and look after youabuse a child like this?

I still feel the pain of that day and the shock of what she put me through.
The physical, psychological impacts do not just disappear overnight – it leaves a legacy that stays with you.  For a while I hated men, I used what had happened to me to try and rationalise it – I thought why would I do all that for them?

“People need to speak out about FGM – There is help out there, this form of abuse on young women and children must stop – speak out.”