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Since 2013, the My Home Crisis Centre in Temirtau, about 185 km from Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, has given refuge and support to more than 300 women.
She gave birth to a daughter, brought back another daughter from the orphanage and learned about her rights, what to do and where to go if she faced abuse again. I learned to trust people and be resilient,” said Marina.
After getting all her papers in order, including her children’s missing birth certificates, with the help of the staff at the crisis centre, Marina is now on the waiting list for a home of her own.
As long as Marina can remember, she has suffered violence. Her two other children were sent to an orphanage because she could not afford to take care of all of them.
When she was eight, she was repeatedly raped by her two step-brothers. “When Marina came here, she had no documents,” recalls Irina Zhdanova, Director of My Home Crisis Centre.
While the non-state centres offer free services, anonymity and confidentiality, they are acutely under-financed and overwhelmed with demand.