How do you survive when your Guardian is your rapist?
This is a true story of a young woman, forced by circumstances to live in sadness and bondage.
You have no memory of what that means anymore, because you either cry to sleep, or stay awake, fearing for the inevitable.
You go to bed every night, knowing that at any moment, you’ll hear the creaking of your door. The man that will slip in through the crack will not do so on your terms. He’ll order you to take of your cloths. Then he’ll rape you like he has more right to your body than you do.
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that he is your uncle, the one who should care for you and protect you.
This is the life of Becky, a 20 year old student.
“He comes into the room and ask me to lay on the bed & sleep with me,” she says.
Becky wasn’t always trapped in this place. Once, she lived in Bauchi State, with her parents. And while things weren’t really good — her parents were very poor, she felt safe.
At age 16, life went from bad, to horrific. Her mother died and left her alone with her father. Her father, who was still living in abject poverty, agreed that she go live with their Pastor.
This is where it began. When she was 17, the person who she had looked up to for spiritual guidance, as a pillar of morality, raped her. She had to live with him for another year, knowing there was no where else to go.
By the time she was 18, her uncle came to her rescue. Things were looking up, he was going to put her through school, and give her a real shot at a better life. Most importantly, he was going to take her far away from her Pastor, to somewhere safe.
She was wrong. Her uncle, and now guardian, was now her rapist. That’s not all she had to deal with. She also had to deal with her uncle’s wife — a physically abusive woman who believed her husband was given his niece so much attention. And thus, Becky became her object of anger.
At the sight of danger, our brain gives us two choices; fight or flight. Sometimes, we’re too weak to fight, and have nowhere to run. So we become numb to whatever befalls us.
This was the tragedy of Becky. At this point, she believed it was normal. Normal for men to do this to her. But you see, the body and spirit can only take so much, and so she confided in someone. And as shocking as it may sound, it was then she learned it wasn’t normal.
It wasn’t normal to be molested by your Guardian. It wasn’t normal to be molested by anyone at all.
So she tried to resist, and he said;
“If you tell anyone about this, I will stop paying your school fees.”
If Becky tells, she loses her chance at an education, her only shot at escaping a life of poverty. If she stays, she gets to suffer. But she knew she couldn’t continue to live like this.
So she sought help. She sought help with STER (Stand To End Rape), an organisation fighting everyday to end rape.
“I want to leave, but I am scared because I won’t be able to continue my school. My father cannot afford it,” she told Ayodeji Osowobi, the founder of STER.
This is the action plan; first, they’re raising funds for her independence. When she can have money for school, she is completely free from her uncle’s bondage. The target is to raise N650,000.
The next line of action, is to get her justice. This justice will be delayed till STER has raised enough money for her school.
Donate to the GoFundMe campaign here.
Or simply donate to STER’s Guaranty Trust Bank Account:
Account Number: 0157148304Account Name: Stand To End Rape Initiative
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