SOMALIA: Case Study:Female Circumcision, The Daughter

When Zarah was 7 she saw her older sister being pinned to the ground by a room full of women. Then she heard her sister scream and quickly realised that she was next in line to have her genitals mutilated.

Unfortunately for Zarah, now 33, there was nowhere to run in her aunt’s home in Somalia. Both she and her sister, then 10, had been taken there by their mother for a “holiday”. “When that happened to me, I immediately lost all trust in my mother and I think that hasn’t changed to this day,” Zarah said. “In fact, I’ve lost trust in both my parents because my father was also aware of what was going to happen to us.”

Zarah said that the psychological scars were worse than the pain. She has nightmares, and relationships have been ruined by her fear of intimacy.

“It always affects you psychologically because the memories never go away,” she said. “I’ve told a couple of former partners about what I had been through and they were understanding. But there’s a big part of me that seems unable to overcome it all.”

Zarah added: “My mother told me after the event, ‘Don’t ever tell anybody’.” Such secrecy was what allowed the practice to go in the UK, she said. “We all know that it goes on even here, but we have no proof. But if I do find out, I will immediately contact the police. No one deserves to go through this.”

SOURCE: Times Online

AUTHOR: Richard Kerbaj

URL: Click here

DATE: 31/03/2009

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