Migration Media Award: Second Place, Print Category, English
Author: Rossalyn Warren
Media: ELLE, UK
Date of Publication: 6 July,2107
Title: ‘My Captor Asked if I Was Still a Virgin. I Said Yes, and Then He Tried to Rape Me’
Short summary: This is the story of Sanae, an 18-year-old Moroccan migrant. She lived with her mother in Morocco, but after her mother fell ill, she left school to earn money to support them, and took a cleaning job in Libya. But it turned out the ‘job’ was slave labour. Sanae was kept as a slave for months, alongside six other women, also kept for slave labour. She risked her life to escape, jumping out of the window – and desperate to get far away from her captor, Sanae fled onto a rubber boat towards Europe. Her story shows an underreported dimension to the migration route from Libya to Italy: while many people are taking the journey to flee conflict, or to find work, women like Sanae are also fleeing from violence against women.
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Sanae El-Houari wasn’t sure how she’d got here. Aged just 18 years-old, she wished she could be like other normal people her age – spending time with her friends, worrying over her school exams, wondering what it was she wanted to do with her life.
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