Stories of Girls’ Resistance

The violence that acts on the mind and the body and the soul:

Direct interpersonal violence

The violence that acts on the mind and the body and the soul:

Direct interpersonal violence

Physical and psychological violence is all around her, all the time – perpetrators are known and unknown, in positions of power and authority and survivors of violence themselves. 

Rarely is violence a one-time experience, often happening over years and life times, sometimes by many perpetrators, sometimes by one. Despite the widespread experience of interpersonal violence, there is a silencing that happens – out of fear of rejection, of not being believed, of being blamed – because of the very real likelihood of repercussions. Sometimes storytellers hold back or use indirect language when sharing a story of violence, and some speak anonymously as an act of protection for themselves and for others. All who share are engaging in an act of defiance – of resistance – by the very act of naming what they have survived.

When I was about four or five, I am a little sketchy on the actual age, my mom was ill, and I didn’t go and stay with my dad’s family, 

I went and stayed with a family friend and a teacher of the school I was going to. 

And her grandson, he molested me. 

And I took that with me until I was about eighteen, 

The first time I told my father was last year. That was when I was twenty one. 

– Jahnelle, Antigua and Barbuda

When I say I was out more than I was in, like at the time I had what I thought was a boyfriend. Who turned out to not be a boyfriend he was just not a good person at all. He made me do things. I won’t even say he made me, but I didn’t really have a choice in a lot of the things in that particular relationship. He was just kind of like, you are going to go do things with this person then that person and this person and I’m going to send you where I need to send you and you’re going to shut your ass up, you going to do what I tell you, you going to do what I do so I can get my money.

– Mason-Sera, USA

I had one cousin who controlled me overall. He used to sexually abuse me in the name of controlling me.

He did everything in such a way that nobody understood anything and others thought that he is taking my care in proper way. He showed people that he is my well wisher and protecting me from any harm.

– Shahzadi, Pakistan

My father was, still is, big up in the Anglican Church. He had a good job and he was just the most abusive person. Physically abusive, sexually abusive, emotionally abusive. All kinds of abusive. Where do you get somebody to support you to be able to stand against the abuse? I tell people as hard and as traumatic as the abuse itself is, the silence for me was the part that almost broke me. You are living almost in an alternate universe. You are sitting at this family table and you’re having dinner and it’s like, this is the biggest farce. Like, what are we doing. But you can’t say anything and for me that was the more traumatic part than anything else.

– Marsha, Barbados

For the first time, my father hit my mother in the street. Before that, it always happened at home…At least at home, I wasn’t held accountable and Mom could hide for a little while until her injuries healed. This time, however, everybody saw that my father was violent and that he humiliated my mother. I couldn’t take it anymore, I said to myself that I had to do something.

– Rachel-Diane, Cameroon

There are incidents like that within the family which reminds girls that streets are not for you, there are incidents within the house which remind you that the house is also not for you, when I was much younger, I don’t even know what my age was, maybe five or six years old, I was being sexually abused by my cousin in the house environment then when I was twelve years old I joined the guitar classes and my guitar teacher was and both of those also created anxiety in me of the indoor space, it destroys that illusion that home is safe

– Sadia, pakistan

Previous slide
Next slide