On this week’s “Here’s What’s Up” I told you I got heartbreaking news. This is the worse case of sexual abuse I have ever heard. Sometimes we hear these things in stories and wonder if they are true. But when it happens so close to you and you actually know the people involved, you begin to look at life differently. The victim, xxxx, who is in her mid-teen years lost her mother many years ago. She only started living with her father a few years ago and was sexually molested severally by him. I spoke with her on phone and I was relieved she was at least breathing and giggled when she heard my voice. I asked her to find a place where no one could hear her and tell me the whole story which I have transcribed below. After pausing for a few seconds, she began,
“As I came and was now living with him, he usually taught me things about myself, life, drugs (mediation), you know all those things. I was taking first in school. First term, I took 1st, second term I took 1st, third term I took 1st. Then the teachings he was giving me began changing. He started teaching me about life, marriage, sex… he made me understand that all those teachings were just normal. It was one day that we were sleeping because that time I was still sleeping on the same bed with him. It was one day that we were sleeping during those his usual teachings that he said he will like to do something that will make me not to follow boys or if boys follow me I will not accept.
He said that he wants to do something that at a certain age I will not have an urge for boys. So I told him that no, I will not follow boys because where he kept me I was well trained. So he was only talking. I said he should not bother about me following boys or boys following me in a kind of way. So he kind of told me indirectly that he wants to have… that he wants to sleep with me.
I was kind of shocked, I was kind of screaming, he held my mouth. That first time that he tried, he tried and did something… we wrestled there until but it did not enter into me that much. He actually prepared like a process… that he’s going to disvirgin me without me knowing. He’ll like kind of take it gently, slowly… it wasn’t once, it wasn’t twice.
So uncle xxxx, his cousin came to the house and said that I’m too big now to be sleeping on the same bed with him. So I told him that I want to take the mattress behind the bed and put on the floor and be sleeping. He gladly accepted. As I put it, after a while he was the one now asking that I should come and meet him on the bed. I was like what for? After some time, since I did not want to go to the bed he would come down and meet me on the mattress. We will fight there until, wrestle until. He will threaten me. I don’t even have anybody to call, no where to go or something. He said if I ever do something like exposing him, my education and life are gone. Sometimes I will wrestle until he will go away. Sometimes I will wrestle until he will succeed and force his way. Slowly slowly like that until he actually now disvirgined me.
Then something that happened was that nah, whenever he wants to do it… because he is somebody who is harsh and rude. Then his rules towards me changed. I don’t stand with anybody to talk. I don’t visit people. Anything as far as it concerns people, I should not be there. I go to church and come back home directly. He said after all I can worship God in the house. He was only saying those things. People in the quarter (neighbourhood) are very afraid of him. Even me, I am very afraid of him. They are even afraid to talk to me because of him. So I’ll just be there all alone.
I was alone and bored. He was only putting xxxx TV (a Christian channel) on TV. I will watch and watch and be bored. They will be repeating and repeating so sometimes I’ll put xxxx channel (a kids channel). He will come and say I am watching pornographic channels. He won’t wait for me to explain that it’s a channel for children. He will say I am watching pornographic channels, witches and wizards channels, all those things, that I’m even demon, I’m devil.
So I became afraid of him, I don’t watch TV. If he puts on the TV, that’s the only thing I see apart from passing people by all the time. That’s the only thing that I see and listen to talk. He stopped me from talking to people. There was one day that I was watching the TV and he said that I am watching that my thing again eh. He beat me, beat me untillll. After a while I just collapsed. I only found myself in General Hospital.
So we kept living like that. He always smiles and pretends to be happy whenever he wants to do something. But the day we wrestle until I fight him and he doesn’t do it the whole of that day everything I do is wrong. Whether it is right or wrong, it is wrong. He will be beating, slapping. Sometimes I’ll come back from school, he’ll just slap me. People will be passing, watching…
(Here she tells me a long story that explains how rocky her relationship with her father was. He was abusing her verbally and physically too)
Whenever he forces and sleeps with me, he will give some pills, these emergency contraceptive pills. The thing always confused my menstrual cycle so sometimes I’ll menstruate twice a month and I’ll menstruate for ten days. The last time he forced me and slept with me since we fought a lot, he woke up angry and he forgot to give me that thing. So that month I did not see my menses. So I said well, since I saw it twice the month before maybe I still see it.
So one day he drove me out and I went out moving, I had not even eaten so I collapsed. Somebody carried me and I just found myself in a hotel. The man tried to rape me there and I fought with him. I told him to carry me back where he found me. He took me back and I found a spot by some grass and slept there. In the morning an aunty found me there and I told her the whole thing. She called my father and he came and took me.
We went to the house and he continued shouting. After sometime he calmed down and asked me to take a bath. After that he gave me 500frs (about $ 1) and I bought something and ate. As I was just feeling better and relieved, he still called me that I should come and meet him on the bed. Eh eh! I stood there that day without even knowing what to do or what to even say. That day I did not do it. I told him to leave me alone. That day he was angry. Anything I do, he was beating me.
Now remember that I had not seen my menses. Two weeks before we wrote our tests I started feeling lazy, weak, heavy some kind of way. He asked me if I had seen that drug. It’s as if he knew what might have happened. I waited till he went out. Since he taught me how to conduct the pregnancy test, I waited until he went out then I conducted the test. I found that I was already over a month old pregnant. I stood there in that small room crying. I didn’t even know if I’m telling but him or doing what. Then I said that if I keep quiet the thing will still be growing in me.
So when he came back, I came and told him that I’ve not seen my menses, I did a test and it is positive. He completely covered up that part that I’m pregnant. He only said that “don’t worry, you’ll see your menses. Your blood will come.” Because he knows that in giving me a tablet to see my menses he knows what will happen nah. So he gave me two tablets of a drug. See, I started seeing pain, I mean actually seeing it. I can not sit, I can not stand. All he was saying is that, “Why are you so restless?”
If was as if I could just kill him. I don’t even know. When I close my eyes, I’ll be dreaming of pain. I bled until it overflowed the bed. He only woke up and said, “Why are you behaving like a child? Didn’t you know that your menses will come?”
After that I continued bleeding. So one day at xxxx, he called me and told me to remove the dress I was wearing and go home. I told him I had just my breast wear under my dress. He insisted that I remove my dress so I just removed it and found a cloth to cover myself and go home. He said when he comes home, he’ll just pack my things and send me to the village at once.
In the morning I just told myself that in fact I have to put an end to this. I don’t know how but I have to. So I left home, trekked from xxxx to xxxx church in xxxx. After service I started trekking back home. The slippers I was wearing even cut so I was just hopping and going. I was bleeding and feeling pains and at that time exams were going on in school. I don’t know what led me but I just went and knocked a door. A sister came and opened the door. I told her that I just need help. She said I don’t look happy. She told me not to worry, that she is a child of God. That I should open up and tell her whatever it is.
I first of all sat there and cried. After that I told her everything. She herself cried. She just said that this is not a case that she can handle by herself. That time I was still bleeding. Since she is a nurse, she cleaned me up and gave me some first aid. Then she took me to the State Counsel. That’s when everything began. I gave my statement, she gave her statement and then the next day they came and arrested my father.
When he went to jail he still refused. He said that I have plotted with the devil to persecute him. He refused that he has never done that kind of thing that in fact neighbours are next door. That even if I scream, neighbours will hear. In all this he had been threatening me and closing my mouth.
It was this morning that they whipped him until he accepted. As he was refusing, they were asking for evidence. So there are some dresses in the house that whenever he forces and sleeps with me I will use them and wipe his sperm, that semen. Since he doesn’t even leave me to do anything; I don’t even cook, I don’t wash clothes. He is always timing me. So thank God that I didn’t wash them. The drugs that he gave me to stop the blood were there with the ones he gave me to regain the blood. I gave those things to the police.
So after he accepted he said that before they take him to prison he wants to say that it’s a demon that he needs deliverance. It always comes over him. So right now I’m in xxxx house.”
I have left out some details that might reveal her identity.
After hearing her talk to me, I felt some form of closure: it could have been worse. I told her she is not alone in her predicament. This same thing has happened to many. Sexual abuse is a silent epidemic. I told her she is going to be okay. God will use her to speak life into other women that have been affected down by similar circumstances.
I also asked her to forgive her father though it is really hard. She told me she has forgiven him and wants to now focus on her studies. She said if she didn’t forgive him she’ll be crying everyday.
What can I say? Jesus please come and take your people.