The sexual harassment started at the age of six when I lost my virginity. I didn’t know the value of my virginity then, I was a child. There was no way I could avoid it and there was no one to testify and support me through my trauma. There was no father to protect me.
I grew up in a society that kept reminding me that I was raped. I made peace with it and lived with him.
When I was 13, I was raped once again. It seemed like I was cursed because I’m always a victim. I didn’t get any support from anyone, but rather insults. People said I had agreed to have sex with the rapist.
And then in my teens I liked a guy who was also attracted to me. But my rape story ruined my reputation. I fell in love with a guy who was from prison, he was handsome and very attractive. I loved him even though we had an age difference of nine years.
Things were smooth in our relationship. I was always aware that the guy might be dangerous if I messed with him but I had no intensions to. One day one of my rapists confronted my boyfriend and told him that if I had sex with him, my boyfriend, I’d end up saying that he raped me.
I lost the strength to fight and prove my innocence and loyalty to him, and I ended up breaking up with him.
A few months later, about 2012 August, I met a guy. I explained everything that had happened in my life and he supported me through the times that we remained together. It was on February 15th that I found out I was pregnant with his baby. We lived in his parents’ house and I attended classes while he went to work.
The baby was born in October 2013.
A few months after the baby was born I began to notice many things in the house. I found a plastic bag with powder inside, it was white with some crystals. I asked what it was and he told me it added flavour to the weed and made it smell like fruit. Over time the little plastic bags were everywhere in the backyard and even the bedroom.
He then lost his job because he used drugs at work. The baby was six months old and we had to depend on the money from the tenants who were renting the backyard. Life started to get hard, but there was nothing I could do. I had nowhere else to go and my mother was horrible. I felt trapped. I felt that I deserved a better life, especially to support my baby.
When my son was 14 months old I asked my aunt to help me get a casual job at the company where she worked. I went in twice a week, on a Friday and a Monday. There was a guy who worked as a security guard, Chris, and he started developing feelings for me. He gave me his number on a note and told me to call him.
I was afraid to be honest with Chris about my life, until my son was admitted to the hospital for chronic diarrhoea. Chris came to the paediatrics ward to support me and the baby. I finally decided to give him the story of my life.
My mom found out about my security boyfriend. Even after I explained to her what I was going through, she didn’t support me at all.
It was on a Friday, February 2015 mid-month when my son’s father forced me to have sex with him. I refused, but he started to hit me. I didn’t sleep that night, I spent the whole night begging to sleep but he refused and said I should leave.
The next morning I made a call to Chris and asked for help. I arrived at his house and went straight to sleep. Chris went out to drink with his friends for hours and whilst he was out, he received a call from the baby daddy. He was not aware that it my son’s father. The baby’s father asked about where I was and Chris told him that I was at his house.
The baby’s father told Chris that I should return home as soon as possible. He came back and told me about the call. The following day I woke up bright and early and left.
I returned to his house since my mother wouldn’t support me. She supported what he was doing. He then locked me in the house. I ran to one of the rooms, but before I could lock the door he forced himself into the room. He hit me and asked me questions about what happened and why I was denying him sex. He punched me and pulled my braids, beating my head against the ground over and over again.
I crawled between his legs and tried to escape, but it wasn’t easy. He saw a black plastic trash bag and used it to cover my face. I was struggling to breathe.
I thought of my baby and I knew that I couldn’t die. My son would suffer more than I’ve suffered. I pulled at the bag with all my strength. I tore off a bit of it and my mouth was out. I could breathe a little in the darkness. Through the struggle, as my hands were trying to fight him off, they landed on his legs and I pulled down his pants. He still wouldn’t let go of the plastic bag so I bit his penis.
He screamed in pain. He started bleeding and sweating more and more. He ran out of strength and a few seconds later he fainted.
I made a quick decision and jumped out of the window. I ran to the neighbour and told them what happened. They told me to run and find help for him.
I went to my aunt, she lived three streets away from his house. She called an ambulance and my mother too. My mother came, looked at me and said he did me good. I was so shocked and hurt.
He was taken to the hospital even though he refused to go because he was embarrassed. He had to though, he was bleeding profusely.
That day I escaped from death and I’m grateful for my son for giving me the strength to fight.
Tell us: What would you have done if you were in the writer’s shoes?