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“La voix des sans voix”

‘My husband was beating me all day long’

At 28, J.N has three children. This Burundian says her husband was assassinated in Burundi in 2017 while they were fleeing the country. According to her, another husband she met in the Nakivale refugee camp spent days beating her.

J.N says she is unable to carry a heavy load due to the pain in her back. “One day, I almost had an abortion from the beating he gave me sometimes on the head, sometimes on the back. He beat me all day long. It was like my reward. And then one day he left. He left me with a two month pregnancy’’, she says.

This woman explains that the authorities at the Nakivale camp and her neighbors were aware of the violence inflicted on her by her husband. “They were coming to reconcile us. The husband seemed to have agreed to stop beating me but three or four days later he started again”, she laments.

In addition to the beating, the 28-year-old woman says her husband left after selling most of the equipment in the house. “Our house is in bad shape. We sleep in very uncomfortable conditions. He sold almost everything, even the pans. He was lying to me when he told me that this equipment was being used on a construction site", she adds.

In the Nakivale refugee camp, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees recently reduced the food ration for refugees. Instead of 31,000 shillings, today the UNHCR gives 22,000 shillings per month per capita. J.N thinks that is very little. ‘’ It’s not easy at all. We are given very little money. It’s difficult with my 3 children. And food is very expensive in Nakivale”.

The eldest J.N’s child is 9 years old and his mother says she cannot afford to pay for her schooling.

Since the outbreak of the 2015 crisis in Burundi, many women, whose husbands have been killed, have fled the country. Uganda had, until July 31, 48,274 Burundian refugees, including several women who faced domestic violence in the Nakivale refugee camp.

With the support of tge Austrian Development Cooperation


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