Most people do not know what exactly sexual abuse it and thus do not see it coming until it gets to the last stage (which is rape), where damage is done. Sexual Abuse is generally linked with rape but rape is not the only form of sexual abuse. From my interactions and sessions with victims of sexual abuse, I was able to get a true life story from an anonymous client who permitted me to share it for the sake of others to learn from it.
Here goes…..I was 16 years old when I first got sexually abused. I had traveled to my aunt’s place for the holidays. My aunt who was my mom’s younger sister had a husband and 3kids. Her first son was 14 years at the time. One day, my aunt wasn’t home. My cousin was downstairs within the large compound, playing football with his friends, while his younger siblings were in the smaller living room watching cartoon.
It was a Saturday and I just had my bath after doing some house chores, I was in the well-furnished large sitting room watching TV when my uncle (my aunt’s husband) walked in from his room and handed me his phone, saying he wanted me to watch a video. I was wondering when we started getting familiar to the extent of giving me his phone. Anyway, I collected the phone and touched the play button. The video showed a lone man sitting in a moving train, and from nowhere, a woman appeared and started walking towards the man. When she got to him, she started pulling off her clothes. At this juncture, I started wondering why my uncle will give me such a video to watch. I thought there was probably comedy lurking somewhere around the video, so I continued to watch. Suddenly, she put off her bra and threw her breasts into the sited man’s mouth…
I was embarrassed as a naïve teenager and shoved the phone away from my face and towards my uncle who was standing behind me and probably watching my reactions. (NB: This is a phase of sexual abuse. Giving a kid or inexperienced teenager a porn video or picture to watch is sexual abuse. Run away from such person). He obviously wanted me to continue as he smiled, refused to collect his phone, saying the video won’t harm me. However, I was reluctant to continue but couldn’t tell him that. He was my aunt’s husband and I didn’t have the confidence to tell him NO (*Girls, learn how to say NO, irrespective of the person’s age. It’s is your life, your body, your future and no one has the right to take them away from you). He eventually collected his phone and asked me to follow him; I hesitated and knew he was up to no good, but being the naïve girl I was and not being able to say NO to him, I reluctantly followed him.
He took me to the guest room and closes the door. When he shoved me towards the closed door and started raising my dress upwards, I knew I was about to be raped. At this point, I didn’t know i am a victim of sexual abuse until I read your blog-post.
I started begging him “Uncle Please, I beg you, don’t rape me” He stopped and looked at me. I saw hunger or desire in his eyes. He looked like he could tear me into pieces and I was scared. Then he said something I’ll never forget. “Why do you think its rape? I am trying to make you a woman. Trust me, you will love the experience”. After saying those words, he didn’t wait for me to reply, he started touching me. When he mistakenly ripped off my dress, I started sobbing. The tears flowed so freely that he left me alone, shoved me out of the way and walked out of the room. I thought I was free and immediately ran to my room and cried my eyes out. I was trembling seriously and I wanted nothing but to go back home. However, I wasn’t totally free because at about 2a.m, I felt a presence in my room and opened my eyes. It was him. (Girls should learn to lock their doors before sleeping especially in a place where there are uncles and male cousins….and even a dad). He told me not to shout otherwise, he will make life unbearable for me. (NB: Do not take the threat of a potential rapist serious. If you don’t report because he asked you not to, you are endangering your life. When you report, justice is served, and he can do you no harm anymore when he is behind bars) my 14year old cousin was my saving grace. He was in the next room and though I was embarrassed to let him know his dad was about to rape me, but my fear of being a victim of rape was greater than the embarrassment and I shouted my cousin’s name. My uncle realized the consequence of his son meeting him in my room and immediately ran out.
Although, my cousin didn’t hear me call out his name as he as fast asleep, but that had done the trick of driving my assailant from my room. I couldn’t sleep that night and I knew I had to leave that house first thing that morning. So, I picked up the phone, forgetting that it was too early in the morning to be calling. The need for urgency made me dial my mom’s phone number .After series of rings; she eventually picked and sounded worried.
I told her I wanted to come home. She asked why I couldn’t wait till it was dawn, to tell her, I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her the true story, so I just told her I missed her so much. I could feel her smile at the end of the line; she reciprocated and told me to ask my aunt to drop me off at the park that morning before leaving for work.. Thus, I was free at last. But till this moment, anytime I set my eyes on the uncle, I have disgust, hatred and still have a little fear for him. I am in my early twenties now, yet he still has an effect on me. I don’t want to be around him, I am still afraid of him.
That is the story of my anonymous client. Perhaps if her parents had tried to probe further on why she suddenly changed her mind about spending her long holiday at her favorite aunt’s place, she would have been able to tell them what exactly happened. Justice will have prevailed and she would be free from the after-effect her uncle has on her. Thus, parents have got a lot of work especially mothers when handling the girl-child and the teenage girl. Be very observant. If your daughter or ward suddenly develops hatred for an uncle, male cousin, dad, neighbor etc or a place, then encourage her to speak up, as it may be too late when you eventually find out for yourself or from someone else. The narrator of this story was very lucky she wasn’t raped or killed but it may not be the same for you so be at alert and protect young girls.