Adama: One story many violences

Here we bring the story about an abused female asylum seeker. The article was brought on the Italian page »migranda« on the international day against violence against women.

By Migranda, Associazione Trama di Terre

Adama is a woman and a migrant. As we write, Adama is imprisoned in the CIE (Detention center for migrants) of Bologna. She has been imprisoned there since the 26th of august, when she called the Carabinieri of Forlì after having been robbed, beaten, raped and had her throat injured with a knife by her ex-partner. The institutions responded to her request for help with the form of imprisonment reserved for migrants without regular residency papers. Her story was indifferent to them. Her story – which tells of a double violence, which she was subjected to as a woman and as a migrant – is very important to us.

Abused and threatened with jail

According to the Bossi-Fini immigration law Adama came to Italy in an illegal manner. For us she came to Italy in a courageous manner, to give her children who remained in Senegal a better future. She found a job and a house through the same man, who initially helped and protected her, becoming her partner, but subsequently became her tormentor. A man who ably used the Bossi-Fini law for the purposes of blackmail. For four years, this man threatened to report Adama to the authorities and have her deported if she did not follow his every command. For four years he robbed her of part of her salary, using her illegal alien status as a weapon of his power over her.

Help from authorities: prison

When Adama had to seek the assistance of law enforcement authorities the only response was imprisonment in the black hole of a detention center where she could still have to remain for months. On the 16th of September Adama’s lawyer presented an official request to enter the detention center, accompanied by doctors and an interpreter, in order to verify her health conditions and formally take down her statement regarding the violence she was submitted to. Only on the 25th of October the Bologna prefecture authorized the entry of the doctors and interpreter to the detention center. More than a month had gone by before Adama could formally accuse her aggressor, and we do not know how long it will be before she can be released from custody.

We know, however, that every day of custody is one too many. We know that the violence that Adama has been submitted to, as a woman and as a migrant, affects all women and therefore it is not possible let her be detained one moment more. The CIE is just the most brutal expression of a law, the Bossi-Fini law, that imposes silence and transforms brave women into powerless victims.

We women cannot be silent as Adama fights her battle. For this we are calling on all collectives, associations and institutions to demand her immediate liberation from the CIE and her being granted legal residency to permit her to take back control of her life.

Read the visAvis article about “Rights of women seeking asylum”

Visit the Italian site Migranda