It’s two days after 16days of activism has ended, thought I should put these last two stories out…
It can happen to anyone, rape/molestation does not only happen to women, but to men too. These stories are a reflection of our society. They are sensitive stories, so be ready…
I lost my innocence long before I could spell it or even had a notion of it. When I think about it now it’s weird, and when I talk about it, some people empathize while others make a mental note to steer clear of the guy with a bad childhood. Three different women. Three different times. “I was raped”. All before I turned 7. The first incident occurred after what started like all other bath times. I was 5. after drying me off she applied some cheap petroleum jelly on me and started to stroke me “there”. I wont get graphic. She was my aunt. She was family. Who does that? To a child?
The second time I went to see a friend who had been sent to the market. His older sister was home. I was 5 still, Dennis was 11 his sister was probably 4-5 years his senior. That happened.
The last time I was sleeping at my mother’s friend’s house. Probably cause Grandma had kicked mom out again for some reason or another. This was another bath time event. None of the incidents were physically violent but spiritually and mentally, these where decidedly violent. I didn’t know how to speak up back then and by the time I found out what had happened was wrong, I didn’t have the kind of relationship with my mother or father to confide in them. Now I had to keep a secret.
When I turned twelve, I had crush on a girl, I sang along to pop songs and life was nice. But I remember thinking constantly in perhaps weekly intervals, I might have AIDS. I went as far as predicting an incubation period before the disease rose up against me to devour me. 18. If it doesn’t show up by then? I must be HIV-. Fortunately, I indeed was negative. They did something to me I should have had a say in, but a child just doesn’t have a say, which in effect means no. which makes what they did to me rape. “I was raped.”
– Kaluwe Ndana (Lusaka, Zambia)
It was a sunny morning , the sky clear and bright .
I remember being irritated by the smell of pollen as we rode on the back of a mini taxi. The man who was dressed all formal asked me if I wanted to close the window or leave it open.
I was too shy to answer him so he asked my mom if he should close it or not. I continued to stare at him, asking myself why he was not wearing a police uniform but had a gun and handcuffs.
As we continued to drive past the dusty roads full of potholes and sewage I noticed the people here seemed to be different from the people I was used to. Suddenly we stopped and we all got out of the taxi. We walked past a few houses , straight down an alley until we reached the suspect’s place.
We found his mom cleaning outside, the door wide open and there he was, sitting on a red bar stool with his afro combed out, eating brown bread and drinking tea from a black mug.
The officer asked me to point him out and I did.
I stood about a meter away from the house while the cops were busy with him and his parents.
Minutes later his dad came out shouting and screaming “where is that b***?!”
I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. Suddenly the whole community came out of their houses. All shouting, “Kill that b***!” They threw stones and bricks at me. I just stood there confused. The cops quickly grabbed me and put me in the taxi and we drove off.
That image still puzzles me till today, what did I do so wrong to make grown men and WOMEN throw stones at a 6 year old girl?
We drove back to school and it seemed like everyone knew what was going on especially his senior classmates. He was in grade 7 and I was in grade R. He looked older than his classmates though.
The police asked me to show them where he raped me.
We walked in the toilet, that place felt darker than usual.
All the horror came back. I opened the shower door where He placed his hand to close the door tight. They asked me what happened , I replied “I came here to use the toilets but since all four toilets were dirty I went in the shower to pee there, the head boy opened the shower door and asked what I was doing there and why I didn’t use the toilet. I told him they were too dirty and I didn’t want to get dirty.
He closed the door grabbed me and raped me.”
I thought he was punishing me for not urinating in the correct place. I’ve never felt so dirty in my life. I didn’t understand what he was doing to me, it just felt so painful, until I didn’t feel the pain anymore. I felt so numb. I stayed there until school came out.
He threatened to kill me, so I never told anyone about it until a few days later my aunt dropped me off at nursery school to play with my cousin while she was in a meeting.
While I was playing on the play ground, blood splashed out of my panties. The teacher noticed and immediately called the ambulance and my aunt. So that’s how my mom found out that I was raped. She shouted at me for not telling her. But how could I when I was living in fear.
Not only did he take my innocence away, but he damaged my bladder as well.
We went to court so many times, I don’t remember what the judge said but I know they gave me R543. My mom bought me a pink picnic basket and a big teddy bear, I guess that was my justice…