“This rape story is my first ever among many sexual harassment cases. I am 13 years old. One of out neighbouring apartments houses some brothers who come in with loads of their friend. One of those friends sent me to get him something across the road one day which I did and it was one of the worse errands I have run ever. No one was around in the compound except me, neighbours’ kids of about my age and my aunt who stays with us. I returned with what he sent me and I took it in to give him. Their apartment has an extension of plank and net so, there was a space before reaching the room door. When I got in, he asked me to drop the item and sit. He did not say anything for sometime and I was beginning to wonder why he was keeping me. After about 5 minutes of silence, he stood up, asked me to stand, raise my gown and remove my panties. My heart was beating three times its normal rate, I did at first but on a second thought, I knew it was not a good idea. At that point, he was trying to bring out his manhood so I turned to face him and started begging him to let me go. I saw his manhood and quickly covered my face with my palms, crying and begging.
Covering my face was my second biggest mistake aside not shouting. He overpowered me, pushed me on the chair and forced himself on me. It was so painful, I cried, I hated him that instance. When he was done, he gave me tissue paper to clean up, promising that nothing would happen to me. He didn’t threaten me, he was only begging that I should stop crying that I will be fine. He taught me to straighten my face, wipe my tears and not let my aunt notice anything, he even offered me to sit and watch TV for some more time but I declined. I left ashamed, stopped greeting him and blamed myself so much. I could have shouted, probably my aunt would have heard and come to my rescue. I should not have covered my face, I should have hit him with iron or any other thing, I could have kicked his manhood or at least done something else to save myself but no, I was just crying.
I knew about rape and sexual assaults and I have been thinking about things to do if I ever find myself in such situation but when I eventually did, I was just too scared and shocked to defend myself. Any time I see him, I feel so ashamed of myself and i feel strong hatred for him. I tried so much for my aunt not to notice, neither did my mom. But I feel traumatised whenever I see him, I wish someone will understand me, fight for me or something. He avoids me too, doesn’t even bother to apologise any further, I am so sad. I can’t come to tell anybody and I really wish to. How do I tell my mum?“, a teenager narrates her story.
Reading this, I can say I relate with her story a hundred per cent. I have been in this situation countless times, just that I never got raped. The shame, anger, hatred and the incidence itself will keep replaying in the mind and the head and will seriously seem like the world is going to end. It is a lucky scenario that he didn’t threaten to kill her or something, that would have been more brutal on her. That doesn’t mean teenagers who get threatened will not get over it though, it is just a matter of time and doing the right thing.
Before we go on, let’s know that even male teenagers can be raped, harassed sexually both by male or female or lured into gayism. So, in as much as this story is of a teenage girl, male teenagers need to be aware too, to protect themselves, their sisters or daughters (sooner or later, they will have kids too, yeah?)
Also, the most important thing to know is although it is very natural for you to feel guilty, sad, ashamed and all of those, you should let it overcome you. You need to understand that it is not your fault, even the fact that you could not react – it is only when you have mastered, planned and prepared for such times that you can overcome your fear and act. So, it is not your fault, he is ordinarily more powerful than you are, you can’t compete with him. It is NOT my fault – say it to yourself over and over again and key into it, put your belief in it and act accordingly.Now back to the question… How does she tell her mom? This is the part that seems very difficult – holding this conversation with your parent(s), mom as she preferred. As scary as it may be, you have to, need to and must summon the courage to spill it out simply because the longer you wait, the worse it will/may be. You need to be taken to the hospital as soon as possible and then the police staton so the evil doer can be brought to book. Let’s see two simple steps to doing this: 1. Confide in someone closer or repeat the scenario in your mind: to summon the courage to tell your mom, you have to create scenarios of how to talk to your parent in your mind. If you have someone you can confide in (like your aunt), then do. Tell her after playing the many scenarios in your mind. Telling your friend may not be advisable, someone older may be better. Read also: Diary Of A Naija Teen: 5 Honest Discussions Parents Should Have With Their Teens 2. Telling her: if you choose confiding in your aunt, she surely will take you t your mom and together, you will relate your experience to her. If not, after playing the scenarios in your mind, summon courage and tell your mom. She will not kill you, neither will she shout at you. These days, parents are learning better ways of dealing with their children and situations like this so, I’m sure she will be very concerned about you, your health and your life. You will realise how relieved you will be spilling this hurt out, you know, a problem shared (with the right person) is a problem that will be solved.
For other teenagers whose rape story must have occurred weeks, months or even years back that they have still not told their parents about it and feel like, the scenario playing will work perfectly. NOT thinking of the rape incidence, that may hurt, but picture yourself speaking to your mum, dad or both parents about it. Each time you do, you summon and draw courage to do so in reality.
Till next week, when we bring another story your way (if any) or bring up another topic for discussion, ensure you stay safe and okay, summoning courage to spill out matters burning your heart out to your parents. I am sure they are learning to be better too and to understand you well. Meanwhile, if you need to reach out, let’s hook up on [email protected]. You can also drop your comments below. See ya, next Tuesday!Photos Credit: Getty