The first few days of counselling were absolute hell and torture, she couldn’t remember half of what had happened and now she was forced to deal with it. She was happy with the missing bits of information but ignoring it or pretending it never happened would only make matters worse. She was attending sessions at a P.O.W.A. centre and she had met a lot of other young girls and women there who went through worse than what she had.

They talked about the violation a man brings to a woman’s life when he abuses her and the powerlessness she feels after. They were told they are not victims but survivors of these great traumas and hearing that gave one a confidence boost. They were informed of the various ways men use to lure women into these traps and rape them and the different drugs that they used. And they learned that 93% of the time a rape occurs it is done by a close friend or relative, someone they know and trust and knowing that this person is known in your social circles and is most probably an outstanding individual in other people’s eyes makes talking about it even worse and uncomfortable for women.

They were told that it’s not because they are weak that these men prey on them, but because these were not real men. They were lesser than real men and they were sick and needed help, they had control issues and low self-esteem issues. But that didn’t give them the right, that’s why anyone who is abused in anyway must report it immediately. They were warned and told to warn their female friends and colleagues that when a rape takes place the woman must not shower, but go to the police station or the clinic, whichever is nearest. Because 85% of the time the rape occurs the perpetrators do not wear condoms and semen is a very good piece of evidence to lock these dogs away.

Nozie had enjoyed the learning part of the sessions and as time went by talking became easier. She had made new friends at the centre and she was involved in out-reach programmes that taught young girls how to protect themselves. They went to neighbouring schools and did activities with the girls and Nozie met a lot of interesting people. Time had flown by and before she knew it three months had gone by. She wasn’t seeing her friends Bulie and Liezel much as both the girls had gone on to University. Thulani was coming around every other day to see her; they were better now, happier and have never been more in love.

They spent most of their time working on his homework or assignments which Nozie didn’t mind doing. She loved every moment of her life but she still felt like something was missing. Yes she had a loving family and friends, a wonderful boyfriend who was not after sex, but something inside made her feel empty. Sometimes she worried that Thulani might give in to temptation when all those hot girls at University came after him. But he always assured her that he would rather cut ‘Tiger’ completely off before he would ever do such a thing to her and that gave her comfort.

Nozie spent her days at the centre doing the different out-reach programmes and helping out with the centre’s admin. One thought kept bothering her every time she thought about the attempted rape. It wasn’t what if she had been raped, or worse killed. It wasn’t what if Thulani hadn’t found her in time. In fact the one thing that bothered her most was what if Mr Mazibuko tried it on someone else? What if he tried it on someone else and actually succeeded? The thought and constant worrying took over Nozie’s life and tormented her sleep. What if he strikes again?