By: Foday Manneh

A survivor of Female Genital Mutilation/ Female Genital Cutting(FGM/FGC) has recounted the pain she went through on the first day of her marriage with her husband and told TAT that she was crippled for a week due to the experience.

According to the survivor, who wants to remain anonymous, “It was excruciating, especially the first three days of sex. After that, I was crippled; I could not walk for a week.

“Coupled with other health complications, I felt pain inside my body. I also bled extensively on the first day of sex.”

According to a health expert, It appears that the victim went through type 3 of FGM, which is narrowing the vaginal opening by creating a covering seal by cutting and repositioning the labia.

“They will cut the seal and still want you to have sex immediately on the same day. So that is the tradition; you must continuously have sex for three days after unsealing yourself.

“I lost my appetite for food and didn’t eat for a week. This was painful. I went through it”, she stressed.

Following those physical, emotional, mental, and health complications, the victim’s request to visit the hospital was refused by her family members.

“I was taking traditional herbs for two (2) weeks which were helpful but risky.

“My husband did not want to touch me, but he had no choice because they said if he didn’t do it, it would seal again. I did not have any pleasure; maybe that was taken by the razor blade.”

However, she had a lesson learned from going through FGM/FGC. “I will never take my child through FGM, and I will report any case of FGM I see happening. It is unbearable.”

The survivor also fears for her life in giving birth in the future while recalling the severe pains she endures during her menstrual periods and the nights she had with her husband.

Each year, hundreds of girls and women across the country are at risk of undergoing FGM/FGC, a harmful practice that intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Despite the criminalization of the act in The Gambia, the harmful practice is now primarily done in hiding or across the border, especially during the summer holidays when schools are closed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here