Residents of the refugee centre belonging to the 13 Houses in Seville (Spain)

My name is Flore and I am from a humble family from Côte d’Ivoire. When I was 17 years old, my life changed. My mum passed away during the 2002 civil war, and then I started a journey that took me far away from everything and everybody.

After her death, life was difficult for me and my siblings. We barely managed to survive and at the end I lost all contact with them.

Then, in 2004, I met the man that would become the father of my children. When the first one borne, a true ordeal began by his side. He used to rape me, beat me, punish me, not to mention the death threats. My life was getting more difficult by the day, I wasn’t safe, and I had nowhere to go. He threatened to kill me if I left him. Our neighbours intervened, but he wouldn’t listen to anybody. I was afraid to report him to the policy because of the death threats and I feared not seeing my children again.

During this situation of violence, my second child was borne. I had hoped that this would mean a truce, but the violence, threats and insults multiplied. I even fainted and I stated to beat the children too. I cried tears of blood, but I was left with no support and our lives were in danger.

One day, I decided to report him to a Human Rights group, but they told they couldn’t do anything against my children’s father. He had good connections with the authorities.

Finally, with the help of an official working for a regional organisation, I was able to leave Côte d’Ivoire for Morocco. The journey took several days. But he kept threatening with making me go back an he forbade from seeing my children. After a while, I realised that Morocco didn’t offer me protection against his will to kill me and his evil actions. Because of that fear, I decided to cross the sea and go to Spain.

There, by God’s grace, I found the Vincentian Family. They have given me a new life, joy, love, safety, training, a job, a home and a myriad of small helps. Now I am a cook in the shelter for refugees managed by the Vincentian Family Organisation that belongs to the “13 Houses” Campaign.

Now I live with certain ease, my asylum application is on the second stage. Thanks to the Vincentian Family, I have my residence and work permits, but I can’t sleep in peace. He keeps threatening me through my children. He took them out of school, he beats them violently and he doesn’t let me speak with them. However, I try through a benefactor. I still need help for my children. When I left I also left behind a part of me and until they are with me I will keep dying a bit each day.

I am very grateful to God for the support of the Vincentian Family. I pray for so many women escaping from similar situations. And I keep waiting that, one day, my children will be with me, safe from his violence and wickedness.