I remember the day when something precious was taken away from me. I still feel anger and cry every now and again. The man stayed on the same floor as us and I usually played with his children.
One day when I went over to play, he said my friends were on top of the roof and he would give us sweets when we got to the top. He walked with me and we climbed the steps to the roof, but when I got there I saw no one.
He began to drag me to a little room that stored electric cables for the whole building. I thought he would give me sweets with my friends in there but instead he pushed me to the ground. He moved my legs apart. I cried and screamed, that’s when he threatened me. I was afraid he would hurt me so I laid motionless.
I cried silently while he did things that I wasn’t really sure of. All I knew was that it hurt. He left me on the ground with blood between my legs. I wore my panties, crying, wondering what I was going to tell my dad. I had pain between my legs as I dragged my myself back home.
I was nine when it happened. I was hurting but my thoughts were of my dad. I feared that he would beat me up and that it was my fault it happened.
My father was at work when it happened and my stepmother was the one who had come from the village. She saw me enter the house and asked about my wellbeing. I ignored her but she wouldn’t leave me alone. She followed me to the bathroom and saw my bruised thighs and the blood on my pants.
She told me to remove the clothes and not to wash my body. I wanted to remove the filth I felt all over my body. I could smell the scent of that man. I cried loudly this time. My stepmother comforted me and told me that we’ll wait for my father.
My father arrived earlier than usual and found me sleeping. I heard his voice and woke up. I cried and he comforted me and took me to the hospital. The matter was then reported to the police.
As I grew up, I was an angry child and was very aggressive. I no longer smiled or was cheerful. I hated being with people, even my own brothers. I trusted no one. My self-esteem was destroyed because I no longer saw myself as human; I was an animal.
But why me? No one could answer it.
I lost confidence and lost my trust in men. I kept thinking that if I was strong I would have fought back and maybe I wouldn’t have been raped. For years I tried to be strong, to forget everything that happened. But I kept opening up the wounds.
One day I thought it was time I faced my perpetrator, but my father refused. I wanted to ask him the question that troubled me daily. My father, to end this endeavour, told me he died in prison.
I tried to survive but always saw myself as a victim. How can I be a survivor as the counsellor instructed me to? I can’t, unless they rewind time and somehow prevented the rape from happening. But life has to go on.
Every time I hear about rape incidents, I get angry. The anger I have makes me evil, fuelled with rage. My heartrate increases and my adrenaline rises. I want to act out and hurt people but I know it’s wrong and I might do something that I regret. Now my mind just wants to grab a knife and stab every rapist so they can feel the pain I felt.
Why does this happen to women? Cases of victims who are men are a minority, while cases of female victims are a majority.
I hate men who can’t keep their things in their trousers. I hate men who take advantage of children and women.
When I got married I was always moody and didn’t want my husband to be close to me. When we were dating I told him about the rape and he told me he still loved me. Sometimes I enjoyed his company and intimacy, but sometimes I would scream. I couldn’t be intimate with him because I saw the rapist’s face when he touched me. One day I told him no, but he kept persuading me to do it for his pleasure. He pushed me on the bed and I bit his neck and ran to take a knife. I could see the confusion on his face. This made him give up on our three-year marriage.
I tried to cheer myself up and even prayed that I didn’t have a daughter as I didn’t want anything like this to happen to her, but I ended up having a daughter despite my prayers.
Recently I heard that my daughter was raped by my uncle. She said that he called her into the bedroom and forced himself on her. She said she usually took his clothes or water to his bedroom even when his wife was there. She didn’t want to disrespect him because he had asked for his trousers.
I always taught my child to respect her elders, not knowing that someone will take advantage of her.
I am far from her, but I want to see that man punished. I could strangle him to death with my bare hands. I don’t care if he doesn’t survive in prison, my wish is to see him take his last breath on earth. I am not saying I am going to murder him. Who knows! I have so much hatred I wish I could kill all rapists. They do not only damage you, but also kill your inner soul.
My uncle said let’s talk because we are relatives. I refuse. Rape is rape and there is nothing to discuss. Justice will be served.
Tell us: What punishment do you think should rapists be given?