Abducted at gunpoint by Sri Lankan soldiers and falsely accused of being a Tamil Tiger, Gowry, 30, feared for her life. Fighting for survival, she had to find every ounce of inner strength to get through each day.
During her imprisonment, Gowry was raped by the solders that took her. They beat her viciously with sticks and hot metal rods and kicked her whilst she lay on the floor. Her harrowing ordeal only finished when her uncle agreed to pay the soldiers the £3,000 they demanded for her return.
Free, but fearing for her safety, Gowry’s family helped her to flee the war-torn area of Sri Lanka where she lived so that she could seek refuge in the UK. Here, still physically and emotionally scarred from her brutal experience, she began to receive vital support from a Refugee Council worker funded by Comic Relief.
“When I come here I feel I can talk about everything,” says Gowry, “and I always feel a bit happier. Rape is seen as such a shameful thing in the Sri Lankan community and we never talk about it. I want the world to know what is going on.”
Thanks to the Refugee Council, many other asylum-seeking women who have experienced rape and torture have begun to put their lives back together and are now looking forward to a positive future.
Please note: Whilst this story is true, the names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.
“When I come here I feel I can talk about everything and I always feel a bit happier.”