Surviving Rape in Iran's Prisons
33. I wished I was dead. I felt guilty. I thought I was contaminated, tainted and tarnished forever. I cried and cried heavily. My cry was very painful. I felt ruined, degraded and destroyed. I felt I had been emptied of everything and that there was nothing to live for. I felt I was dirty and that I had no value any more. I felt void and emptiness.
34. I had my period when I was raped. They knew about it. A lady Pasdar had asked me about my period before. She came to me before the rape and asked me if I had my period. I told her that it was none of her business. She asked, “How would you do it when you are having your period?!” I asked, “Would you give me a pad if I tell you that I’m having my period?” She said, she did not mean that. Without thinking of her purpose, I told her that I had my period. Thus, I felt a lot of pain in my back. They raped me from both sides. From my back too. I was bleeding. I did not have anything to clean myself. I used my scarf. I used one side of my scarf for my son and the other side for my own purposes. I’m certain of my back. I felt burning pain. I do not ever want to remember this. I can’t reckon with this. Whenever it comes to my mind, I try to forget it. I’ve not been able to address it. Recently, after thirty years, I can reckon with it somehow. My mind is helpless. I can’t think how it happened.
35. They were three persons. I didn’t know at that time. I was in shock and fear. I had forgotten about the wounds in my back and feet. I felt they had inserted a sharp burning knife in me. It was painful and horrible. I cried. I cried a lot. I felt ruined, wicked, despicable, degraded and destroyed.
36. Time had no meaning for me in prison. I didn’t think about time there. Passage of seconds, hours, days and nights were meaningless for me. I was in a dark room. I didn’t know how long I was unconscious. I could not guess how much time had passed while I was in that condition there.
37. Years later when I came to Canada and visited a psychologist, I understood that rape is a form of torture and that there is no difference between rape and other sorts of torture. But at that time, I felt sin and guilt. Since then I’ve never dared to look at my son’s eyes. He was four months old but now he is 29 years old.
38. I guess it was the fifteenth day when I was raped for the second time. I don’t know about the exact date and time because my cell was dark. There were lots of lines on the wall. Every prisoner had made his own calendar. I had my own. I drew a line on the wall every day that passed. Thus, I think that day was the fifteenth day after my arrest.
39. The cells door did not open that day. Prisoners usually made noise when they wanted food or wanted to use the restroom. That night, however, hours passed, nobody came, the prisoners did not make any noise. There was a strange kind of silence in the prison. When guards did not show up, we knew that there was no one around; so we spoke with each other. Other prisoners often asked me about my husband, my son and how old he was. They asked very basic questions. They didn’t ask about my crime and charges. That night, however, there was no guard around; I didn’t hear anybody’s voice.
40. It was the second week of my imprisonment. I did not touch hot water all this time. My son’s feet were raw because he peed on himself and because I had to clean him with cold water. In fact, all of his body was scratched. I cleaned his neck, hands and feet with cold water. I had fifteen minutes and I had to do this within fifteen minutes. He had two pieces of clothing and I had to keep one clean all the time.