Of late, I have read a lot of real life experiences of rape. Some victims were adults already when it happened. Others were just kids. the worse part is, rape has become rampant. The little kids are the most vulnerable victims. Unfortunately, even while these stories are shared, for the sake of creating awareness, a lot of rape activities are still ongoing and a lot of parents are not aware what has been done to their kids.
In my own case, I have faced rape attempt more than 7 times in my whole life.
The first time, I was only 6 years old. But I still remember that day, vividly. Now that I think of it, he was not just an older man. He was a man in his late thirties. He had big nose and wide lips. His beards were shaved. I called him Uncle. But no, he was not really my uncle. He was a man that did business with my father and due to some circumstances, my father owed him money.
That particular day, he came to collect. I was in the sitting room when he came. Because I recognized him, I opened the door and let him in. I alerted my mum to his presence. She came out to meet him and they exchanged greetings before she went back in to get my father. They had both been preparing for work.
My brothers sat directly in front of the tv, watching a cartoon. I think it was Voltron or Super Ted. I don’t really remember. I wanted to watch with them but the so called uncle called me to his side. I was shy. But I went to him. Because my parents were inside and my brothers glued to the tv screen, he had ample time to do as he pleased. He made me sit in front of him, legs apart. Then he started to rub his filthy hand against my inner thigh. I tried to pull back and close my legs, but he held me in place. I was too scared to shout at him or to even alert my brothers who were glued to the TV screen. But I did finally succeed in getting away, or so I thought. Since his hand still held mine, I couldn’t go far. I moved away to the side of the chair where I thought he wouldn’t be able to touch me. There, I went on my knees. Legs closed. He simply placed his hand on my back and pushed me down. Holding me firmly. Then this time, his hand found its way into my shorts from behind.
As luck would have it, my dad chose that moment to open the door leading to the sitting room. The useless man heard his voice and quickly took away his hands and I saw a chance to run away from the sitting room. I went to my room. I stayed there, crying. My mum came in, already set for work. She asked why I was crying. I told her. I told her everything.
First she was confused. Then she was crazy with anger. How dare he? But she didn’t storm to the sitting room. She sat with me and comforted me and after my dad was done with the so called Uncle, she pulled him aside and told him what I told her.
My father was sad. He promised to see him later at the office and warn him to stay away from his daughter. He must have warned the idiot. For he never came near me again. But even then, my parents ensured I was not found, even by mistake, near him.
This same bafoon of a uncle tried to hit on my mother. She was alone with us when he came visiting one morning. My brother told him my father was away but that my mum would attend to him, as she was dressing up for work. This was about a year after the incident with me. We had moved from the other house.
The man was not satisfied with thoughts of my mum dressing up, he wanted to see for himself. Thank goodness she was fully clothed when he sneaked into her room. How he even found the room is a mystery. I was there and I enjoyed the shouts my mum gave him.
“What is the meaning of this? How dare you enter my bedroom?” she questioned him.
My brothers heard her raised voice and came in. Young or not, they hurled him out. My mum followed behind with shouts and insults. Neighbours gathered and she explained to everyone what he had done to me before and what he did that day that resulted in her shouting.
Trust the neighbours. They gave him no chance to try to defend himself. And it was the last I ever saw or heard of him.
During My growing up days, especially after the incident with the so called uncle, my dad gave me the dos and don’ts. These dos and don’ts actually saw me through, till date.
Although I have broken some of these rules because I feel I’m old enough to take care of myself now. However, there are still those out there who needs them, hence I am sharing them. They included:
1. Do not be found outside the house later than 6:00pm. Except you are in the company of your elder brother(s) or father. This is Nigeria. Security is not certain.
2. For the female child, do not be found alone with any boy or man who is not a member of your immediate family.
3. If anyone touches you were you shouldn’t be touched, tell your dad, your mom and brothers.
4. Do not go to the neighbour’s house to play alone. They have senior brothers and uncles and you can’t tell what they have going in their minds.
5. Do not visit friends who have elder brothers at home. (he told me this in secondary school, after he told the true story of a woman who helped her sex starved brother rape her neighbour’s daughter. All the brother had to do was tell her he wanted the girl. The sister did the set up. After inviting the innocent girl in, she locked up the doors and protectors. What wickedness to a fellow woman).
6. Do not be afraid to shout at anyone who touches you inappropriately. (this was sounded in my ears time and again, because from day one, I was the shy type. Even up to my NYSC days. I used to be scared to shout at anyone above my age group. But when cases like rape comes up, one must learn to shout. Like my dad will say, if you don’t learn to talk, people will cheat you and dump you).
Please, lets teach our children and wards the above listed. Little boys are not excluded. They too suffer at the hands of crazy house girls or gay pedophiles. These dos and don’ts may not completely squash rape cases, but it will definitely go a long way in saving our children from bitter experiences.