By Munyale Kwabe
Today is World Mental Health Day and today would be used to encourage everyone to learn to speak out. Amira, a student of mine has asked me to share her story. I hope you learn that there is power in tour voice
My dad never loved my mum. It was obvious. Everything he did was hurt her. He beat her and sometimes beat me. He called her name in front of people and my siblings. He was a very loud and arrogant man. So when he started raping me i was too scared to talk about it. You see, my culture and religion teaches us respect for the elders and never to speak ill of the old. Also, my fathers character didn’t let me find courage in my voice. I was scared he would call me names like ‘whore’ which he usually called my mother when she returned from her office. I never spoke up against him, and he continued to have his way up until he got the small maid my mom had gotten from the village pregnant.
I was 19 when this happened and the maid was 13. My father raped this girl and asked her to keep quite. When she was asked how she got pregnant he threatened to kill her if she spoke. She confided in me and told me what she had been through. She told me that my father rapes her in the anus at least 3 times a week. She told me that he normally gives her after pills to take. She told me that my father said when she turned 18, he would marry her.
I was so heart broken because i saw this young girl as my sister. She was innocent and my father defiled her like he was doing to me, and maybe other. I wasn’t going to stay silent. I told my mom, who in turn told his family about his doings and they advised we keep him in the dark about the pregnancy. We took the maid to her village and told my dad she wasn’t performing well, so that he wouldn’t suspect anything. We got a male maid to replace her. When she birthed the child, a DNA test was carried and the child was my fathers.
My mom left my dad and took all of us away from him. I still wake up at night thinking he is coming back to rape me. I still feel his touch sometimes. I am scared when anyone hold me. I am scared to look into peoples eyes. I am seeing a doctor but no one is really helping. I can’t seem to explain my feelings well to anyone. My mom advised i don’t tell a lot of people, but i am certain that is more about her than it is about my health. I hope i get better. I hope my mental state improves.
Many victims share this narrative and it is important to speak out when you’ve been hurt. Not for anyone’s entertainment but for your sanity. Should you want to report a case, you can get in contact with us on 08095967000 & 08130320270 or via our email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will provide you with highly confidential and professional services.