Life Stories

From Somalia
The documentary is a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes into the mind of one of Clitoraid's patients, an FGM victim who is about to have her Clitoral Repair Surgery with Dr. Bowers in San Francisco, CA. She shares her life long emotional journey that led her to make this decision, her fear and hopes and her joy after the surgery.
Clitoraid wishes to thank this patient for allowing her story to be told and filmed so that it may help heal millions of other victims of FGM until genital cutting no longer exists.

From Kenya
I am a Kenyan lady aged 42 years currently living in Botswana. I am a victim of FGM and I have been reading through the internet about how you have been helping to restore this very important part of a woman's body. Like many other women, I have never felt the pleasure of lovemaking which resulted in me hating it. I would be forever grateful to your organization if you can make this miracle happen to me. I am not well off financially, so in the event of my request being considered positively I would like to request for possible donation to enable me to come to USA or to Burkina Faso for the operation.

From Ethiopia
I am so happy to find out about your organization. Knowing there is an organization that is devoted to work on victims of FGM is just a relief. I am one of the many victims here in Ethiopia. I have never told a living soul about my mutilation except my 2 younger sisters, they are also victims. What makes my situation worse is my friends, colleagues and the people around me do NOT expect me to be one of the victims so whenever a conversation starts about FGM I just stop and listen and of course my heart always breaks. I remember one night back in college, my roommates started talking about FGM and of course they assumed I am not one of the victims so they kept talking about how sad and inhuman it is. I was totally devastated and I cried the whole night. Ever since then I am always looking for ways to recovery from it physically and psychologically but I had never succeeded. Now it has gotten to the point where I can NOT even stop thinking about it, it’s causing me a lot of physiological problems, it’s holding me back in many different ways I just do not know how to express it in words. My dating life is terribly affected by it, as I said earlier nobody around me expects me to be a victim so with the few guys I dated in the past, I would always break up with them before we got intimate because I can NOT bear the thought of me telling him about my situation and face the consequences after. That is why I am still a virgin at 26 years old. And now I am dating this guy who could potentially be my soul mate and as usual I am losing my mind by thinking about what will happen if he finds out and I really don't want to lose him because of it.
When I found out about your organization, I almost cried. For me, it is a bright light at the end of the dark tunnel that I am stuck in. So this letter is to ask, or I shall say beg you to think of me for a chance of a reconstructive surgery. I know it’s very expensive and I am sure it cannot be done here in my country but I will do anything in my power to make it happen. If you consider me for the surgery I'll find ways to get the money. I know you are building a hospital in Burkina Faso, If it is possible to have the surgery there or any other country for that matter I'll try to find a way to be there. If this happens you will make me the happiest person in the whole wide world, I am not exaggerating, If you knew what I am going through right now I am sure you will agree with me. Please save me from my misery.

From Somalia
I was born in Moqadishu, Somalia and was brought to Canada by my grandmother at the tender age of 5. She raised me along with my aunts and uncles and so I never knew my parents and siblings. When I hit puberty, all I could think about was my parents and how no one could understand me like my mother would've. I wanted my own family I would tell them, and any decisions they made for me were unjust. It didn't help matters that I was also molested by a family member that I looked upon as a father figure, from there grew anger, resentment, and depression. So at the end of grade 7 I was sent to Ethiopia to meet my mother, my grandmother accompanied me. I can't even describe to you the expectations I had for my mom and my siblings, which sadly were tossed aside once I was with them for less then a week. My grandmother went back to Canada early due to her fragile health. From there it was chaos, my own mother resented me for being the one that got out and lived in the "West". She physically beat me, gave my possessions away to random neighbours and just simply broke my heart. My cries for help to my family in Canada went unnoticed, they felt I was being dramatic and over exaggerating everything for attention. All I remember was going to bed one night, having breakfast the next morning and then, I saw 2 ladies come and held me down. They held my legs while a woman came towards me with a razor, I struggled and managed at one point to escape, but they just came after me in the street and once again held me down, I weep as I type this because this memory is so horrible to me. I spent weeks recovering with ropes tied around my legs. When my family found out what my mother had done, they sent me money to go see a doctor but by that time it was too late. My mother had already collected the money for her own personal use and I didn't see a cent. They booked me a ticket to come back to Canada. Can you please help me, I don't feel adequate to have a relationship, I'm disgusted at my genitalia, and the idea of intimacy or someone touching me there haunts me. I'm jealous of my girlfriends and their relationships and I feel like I'm lacking something, I'm not whole and care free like they are. If you can get back to me with any information how I can get "fixed" that would be great. I finally have the courage to finally want to put this past me. My mother passed away in 2006 and I don't want to carry this physical memory of the hurt, pain and anguish she has cost me. I'm done being bitter.

From West Africa
I am a young woman from West Africa who was subjected to FGM as a teenager. The trauma has stayed with me all my life and the shame I feel continues to this day. I’ve studied and now live in the US with my husband and children. I’ve lived with this shame during the delivery of my children and yearly pap smears. I have to admit that I’ve missed my last 3 pap smears because my doctor retired 3 years ago and just have not mustered the courage to go see another doctor whose words right away during my exam would be “which country are you from”. I dread these words so please help direct me to someone to see if I can somehow reverse the effects of at least the physical deformity.

From Sub Sahara
I'm from Sub Sahara, Africa. I am a victim of female genital mutilation and I have many questions to ask regarding the restoration surgery. I just got married 2 months ago and I realized that I am only half a woman. Consequently, sex is a scary experience for me. I do not feel any type of pleasure and the worse is that I hide the reality to my husband because I am too ashamed of my body. Intercourse are either painful, uncomfortable or just pleasure-less. I fake smiles with my husband and everybody but cry in the bathroom everyday . I stayed virgin until my marriage to find out that I will probably never ever be a normal wife. I am so afraid and ashamed of his reaction that I don't want to talk about it. Please help me!

From West Africa
I am a young woman from West Africa, living in the US. At the age of 14, my outgoing and witty personality, dignity and sexuality (my beautiful clitoris) were taken away from me without my consent. Though I begged my uncle who claimed to be in charge of me when both of my parents were living in the US, that I do not want to be circumcised, he refused to listen to me. I am kindly asking for the help of Clitoraid to restore my physical integrity as well as dignity; I hope my clitoris,that was removed by force almost twenty years ago, can be restored to allow me to enjoy my sexuality. Thanks a lot!

From a Boyfriend of a FGM victim
My girlfriend comes from East Africa. She came to the United States as a child. While she was still living there, her father forced her to undergo surgery where a Type I FGM operation was performed. The hood of her clitoris was removed and, it would appear, part of her inner labia. We have been dating for over a year and she has always said that while she does feel a certain amount of pleasure, direct clitoral stimulation is painful, and she continues to have a high level of anxiety during intercourse in general because of the trauma associated with the mutilation. Until now, our research has mainly been oriented toward finding sexual positions or techniques that may circumvent these issues...but I came across your information and was astounded to see the type of work that you are doing and the possibilities it may bring with it. I want to let my girlfriend know that this procedure is available and to let her consider it and decide if it is something she would like to pursue.