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The Crime
8,000 girls per day are robbed of their genitalia and their dignity. That is one every eleven seconds. 150 million women worldwide are affected.

TARGET wants to put an end to this crime.

Ruth, seven years old, a Christian. She is sitting on her aunt's lap, who is suddenly spreading her legs and holding on tight to Ruth. Another woman holds her arms. Ruth is screaming, but she doesn't stand a chance. The razor blade takes away her clitoris. Without anaesthetic. There is blood. Lemon juice as an antiseptic. A cloth to stem the bloodflow. Afterwards a celebration.

Cutting off the clitoris is the mildest form of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Fatima has to endure the hardest form. She is eight years old, a Muslim, and lives in the Danakil desert, Ethiopia. She will have to undergo Pharaonic mutilation. Like her friends. Laila, for example, who has not spoken since. Who has been mute for eleven weeks. According to an estimation of the UN, one third of the girls will never speak again. Death due to loss of blood.

Four adults are trying to hold Fatima, who is struggling for her life, in place. The razor blade takes away the clitoris, the labia, everything. Even her soul and trust in life, including her trust in the adults whose hands are smothering her screams. Then she faints. Her vagina is closed with acacia thorns - just like a zipper. Without mercy. Her thighs are bound together with bandages.

After four weeks the skin has grown together. What is left is an opening the size of a grain of rice. From now on urinating will take half an hour, menstruation two weeks. In her wedding night she will be opened - either with a knife or her husband's penis. When she gives birth, the opening will have to be widened. Again, with a knife. Afterwards everything will be stitched together again. This cycle will repeat itself.

Lifelong torture.

Statements of mutilated women:

"All people are looking forward to their wedding and the wedding night. Not the Afar. For them it is the beginning of hell."

"The opening of my vagina was the size of a grain of rice. When I had to urinate it took thirty minutes, my period fourteen days."

"I couldn't give birth to my child. They cut me open with a sword. Without anaesthetic, as usual. To keep me from dying, they cut my child into pieces inside me."

"When I had my period, the blood couldn't flow out. I rolled on the ground like a slaughtered sheep to make the blood flow. When that didn't help, I had to dig out the blood with a small stick. Two weeks long."