Story of Mirsada
Bosnia & Herzegovina
[Trigger Warning; Rape]
One night, I was woken by explosions and shooting. It was the most terrifying moment of my life – I was lying in bed, hearing my heart beating, I couldn’t breathe. We soon left our home and met other Bosnian Muslims, who were heading to the meadows for safety. We didn’t have any food, so we would go to the village in the early morning to find some. That’s how we were captured by our own neighbours – my father, my aunt, and me. Our neighbour acted as if he didn’t know us at all.
Then the real nightmare really began. Only 9 girls were left, including me and we were asked to go some military building in Bratunac. But, it was not the case. We were taken to an abandoned house and that night all three of us were raped. I was raped by one soldier. The other two girls were both raped by two soldiers.
Not long after we went to lie down 11 soldiers entered our room. They drove us to the front of some other house, where they raped us again. That night I was repeatedly raped by several soldiers. Some of them I knew. Some were strangers to me. It lasted the whole night.
Women suffered from all kinds of torture during this war. These women are as courageous as mighty dragons, because even after everything that happened, they are fighting to live a normal life. I was only a girl of 15 when this happened to me, but I survived. I will carry that burden of pain all my life. The past will always be with me. But I try and live as normal a life as possible.
I believe that reconciliation is possible. But, before this can be achieved, I believe that the perpetrators must admit what they did. They too must break the silence.