I Hate My Father

2017

My father used to hit my mother and siblings.
Sometimes for a reason,
And other times, for no reason at all.
He slapped her across the face once in front of strangers,
Because he didn’t want to pay for the T.V. to get fixed.

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Baba Beats Me Up For Being Fat

2019

Baba used to beat me up for being fat.
When I was around 13 or 14,
Mama was convinced that I won’t get married because I’m overweight.
body image, bullying, beauty standards, physical violence

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No Pleasure

2019

I’m 25 years old.
I was circumcised when I was 11.
I was in the fifth grade then.
I knew what they were going to do,
But I didn’t know anything about sex at the time,
Or how FGM would affect my ability to have sex.
Gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; FGM; sex

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The Mother of my two sisters

2017

I’m 27 years old. When I was 19, I left my mother’s place, taking my sisters along with me, and went to stay at my father’s.
We left because mother used to beat and belittle us.
In her mind, she owned us. She educated us. We belonged to her.

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That Demon Is My Husband

2018

When I was little, I often dreamt of a demon.
I’d bang on our front door as the demon came down the stairs.
I’d scream and my voice would catch in my throat.
My hands would grow heavier as I pounded on the door.
When I got married, I started to suspect that demon was my husband.
domestic violence, gender violence, physical violence, social stigma, work, addiction

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Beaten Up For No Reason

2017

I’m the only girl among my siblings.
One time when I was in elementary school,
My parents were going out to buy some stuff,
And they told my older brother
To keep an eye on me and our younger brother until they came back.
My older brother waited for them to come back outside the apartment,
And I waited with him.

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Prenup

2017

His cousin tried to convince me to go back to him.
I told him I won’t.
He said, “Do it for the girls.”
I told him, “Growing up with a mother and father, who are divorced, but respect one another, is so much better than living with two people who hate each other.”

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A Week of Hell

2017

My parents separated when I was young.
My mom, my sister, and I were living happily after the separation,
Until my mom got remarried.
I couldn’t bear living with her when she got married,
So my father sent me to live with my grandma.
I wish I had never gone.
My grandmother and aunt both gave me a hard time.
I would cry myself to sleep every day,
Because of how they treated me.

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He hits me but I love him

2014

My husband is really upset with me!
He hit me yesterday, but it was all my fault.
I made up with him because I love him.

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He Saw Him Hitting Me

2019

I had just turned thirty.
Fifteen years ago,
It wasn’t normal to be single at the age of thirty.
At every wedding I went to, my aunts would tell me,
“We hope you’re next, dear.
May God reward your patience.”
They’d say it with sorrowful eyes,
You know the look.
domestic violence, gender violence, physical violence, motherhood, marriage, divorce

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