I lost my sister to this heinous practice. She was 7 and I was 9, when we were sent to our village during our holidays. And while we were there, our aunt and grandmother took us and got us cut. I made it out alive, but my sister couldn't. I wasn't even allowed to see her once, not before, during or afterwards. The last memory I have is of my sister fighting against three grown women while all I could do was cry and scream. They blamed her death on her, said that she was too weak for not making it, that her mind wasn't clear, that she was not supposed to make it, that was why she passed away. And they praised me for being so strong, for going through it so courageously. I was broken, torn, in extreme pain. It was difficult for me to move, the first fortnight, I screamed every time I had to go to the washroom. When I made my way back to my parents, away from my village, nobody spoke to me about my sister, not a word, no questions, It was as if she never existed. I had no one to speak to about it, I felt ashamed and weak for letting something like this happen to me. But, I was forced to maintain an exterior that suggested that nothing had changed. By the time I turned 15 years old, I had had enough and I ran away from my family. I lived at a shelter, joined a school and took a part time job to support myself. I never really got over it, I don't think I ever will, but getting an education helped me, therapy helped me. Physical touch is difficult for me but, I owe it to my sister to speak out, to make it common knowledge, the unhygienic inhumane conditions and treatments they mette out to their girls all in the name of purity and acceptance.