According to MSF SEA, story of Miriam a 17 year old young woman
This is Miriam, a 17-year-old young woman from #IvoryCoast who left her country after her family forced her to marry a man when she was only a little girl. She bravely shared her harrowing story with us.
*Name changed for anonymity.
Check out her testimony
“I didn’t know him. He was too old for me and I wasn’t interested in marrying him.” […] I just wanted to make my own decisions about my life, so I decided to leave everything behind, including my family, who wanted to force me marry him. I began my journey on my own.”
“I paid the smugglers with the little money I had so I could get to Libya. I stayed in Mali for two months before crossing the border into Libya. We couldn’t cross by car, because we could have been an easy target for the Libyan police.”
“The smugglers left us in the desert, and we had to walk for nearly a week with only little water and a few biscuits to survive. When we ran out of water, there were women with children who cried for/during the entire time.” she said.
“We didn’t have access to water, toilets, or privacy. We were unable to wash ourselves or to change our clothes. Whenever we could, we tried to hide behind the dunes in the desert .”
“I used to wear some cotton in my underwear when I had my period, but I couldn’t change them often. I had been wearing the same clothes and underwear for over a week. I felt dirty and I had a burning sensation”.
“I found work as a cleaner for Libyan family in Tripoli after arriving, but the working conditions were harsh and humiliating. The lady who hired me was very violent with me. She used to beat me instead of talking to me.”
“She made me work even when I was very sick because she despised seeing me resting. I stayed for a year and eight months only to save enough money to leave. ”
“The cost of crossing the sea varies depending on the boat you take. I could afford the least expensive, a rubber boat. When I saw the boat on the night of the departure, I was terrified. I didn’t want to go in, but they forced me, they pushed me in.” she tells.
“Nobody warned me that the boat would be so crowded and small. I was assured that the trip to Italy would be safe and comfortable! But we almost died that night at sea!”
“We stayed in the boat for almost two days while crossing the sea, and it was so crowded that we couldn’t move. There was no way to hide, we could not jump into the water, and I eventually peed on myself. Everyone did.”