The harrowing tale of a 21-year old Ghanaian woman who was abused in Saudi Arabia has added to the statistic of domestic abuse cases suffered by those seeking greener pastures abroad.
Amina as we choose to call her, has returned to Ghana after being abused, gang raped and left pregnant without a father.
An agent in Ghana convinced Amina to leave the country because her salary of 15 cedis [or 150 old currency] would not be enough to cater for her siblings and a struggling single parent mother.
The prospects of earning 900 Ghana cedis in Saudi Arabia was sadly enough motivation for the young adult to take the next flight to Saudi Arabia and she did.
She paid an agent 500 cedis and after passports, visas were arranged, the school drop-out flew out in 2013, hugely relieved that Saudi Arabia was going to be a life-changing destiny.
And it was life-changing in a nightmarish way.
Her employer, a woman locked her in a room, stripped her naked, did some incantations, sprinkled water on her and locked her inside a room.
Her nightmare had just begun.
Amina did all the cleaning in every space within the five-storey building. She had her head smashed against the wall by her employer for 'offences' such as unsatisfactory cleaning.
“I was the only person living in the five-storey building” she told Joy News on her return to Ghana.
She was never paid, hardly given food and she slept on the bare floor.
Unable to take it any longer, she ran away from home and roamed the streets of Riyadh.
“Some men also saw me and they raped me. Three men… they all slept with me. They just pushed me out of their house and told me if I come back they will kill me” she told Joy TV’s Mamavi Aboagye.
She met an Arab who sent her to the police station after she narrated her plight.
Her two-months stay in the Police cell was even traumatic.
There were mentally deranged men, wretched Africans and inmates who wanted to commit suicide at any least opportunity all quarantined in the prison. All of them could not stand the conditions in the prison. And little Amina could not stand it too.
“It was very horrible. I saw mad people. They had injected people, some are even dying…you won’t even get food to eat. There were Ethiopians, Ghanaians, Kenyans, Togolese in one building….people are suffering….some people even killed themselves”, she explained.
In the police cells, she was naked and only got a piece of cloth to cover up after her deportation papers were ready.
She flew back to Ghana in 2014 to her great relief.
But it was not yet ‘uhuru’ [Freedom] . Amina discovered she was one-month pregnant.
“I came empty-handed. When I came I became severely sick…..they confirmed that I was one-month pregnant”
Her mother rejected her decision to abort the pregnancy and with the help of an NGO, Amina gave birth to a baby boy.
The boy is now 7-months old.
She has no idea who the father is and there is no way of finding out. Her moments of loneliness push her into great regret and depression for taking her auntie’s advice to listen to the agent.
And she has been having a difficult time explaining to a questioning society how she has a fair-coloured baby and who his father is.
Amina cannot paint a picture of what she wants her future to be like, she is too traumatized to see life the normal way.
And while she wishes the best for her son, she is at a loss as to how to make life at least a better hell for her son.