By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- RAPE has continued to be a menace in the society with many cases recorded on daily basis. While most of them are unreported to appropriate authorities, some victims and families do, but no justice, as accused are not duly punished.
One of the rape victims simply called Martha, boldly approached and reported to a non-governmental organisation called The Valiant Voices Organisation, TVVO, for justice, where she narrated her ordeal on how she was brutally raped, which almost led to her untimely death.
According to her story, she was taught by her mother never to expose herself to pre-marital sex for no reason, but should keep her pride till the day of her wedding in honour to God and her future husband, which she had done since she was 13 years old.
“Mum didn’t wait for me to start before she began to tell me about menstruation, puberty, ovulation, sex and the likes. May be because she saw that I was so beautiful, attractive. At age 13, I was having a 8-shape figure, though very slim, but my hip bone were apparent.
“As soon as I reached menarche (the biological term for the first period or the start of menstruation) at age 14, she told me all I needed to do to avoid premarital sex and pregnancy. She told me the joy and value of getting married as a virgin.
“She told me her story, how dad was the first and only man who did it to her after wedding. She warned me to value every part of my body, and that every part covered is precious.
“She said, when your husband meets you as a virgin, then he will love you, adore you, respect you, value you, he would never raise his hands on you. I was wowed! I smiled! I said mum, don’t worry. Nobody dares touch me, I’ll keep my body and no man would ever see the colour of my pants until I’m legally married.
“She was happy at my words, she flipped her Bible to Romans 12:1 and read it to my hears in her own version; ‘I beseech you therefore my daughter, that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy and accepted to God, which is your reasonable service.’
My vow to God and future husband
“She then asked me to promise God, I’ll keep my body as a living sacrifice. I said ‘God, in Jesus name, just don’t worry, I’ll keep myself.’ Mum laughed. It wasn’t funny to me, because at that point, I was dead determined, that this body of mine, I would present as a living sacrifice to God and my future husband.
“She warned me never to tell anyone, I affirmed, I won’t. She hugged me, and went to her room, while I found my square root too. Probably, I went to play or so.”
How I was raped brutally by my uncle
“In the cold of the night, as I attempted to get out of his way, he grabbed me tight to his body, pinned me to the floor, he hurriedly tore my pants, threw my soaked pad away, and I was on the heaviest day of my menstrual cycle, he tied my mouth with his shirt. I wished it were a dream.
“All I could do was to struggle, I strained my eyeballs and wished my eyeballs could help me scream out for help. But all my effort to escape was futile. It was as if my lacrimal gland burst, my tears were uncontrollable. He released me after 30 minutes. I was soaked in blood.
“It occurred to me, my hymen was brutally torn by a wicked man. Mum’s counsel faded before my eyes, my promises to God, mum and myself failed. I struggled to breathe, it was as if I was going to die, all that was running in my head was suicide, I tried to move my legs, I couldn’t as I forcefully did, I fell down. It was my uncle, he raped me.”
“With tears, telling her bitter experience following the recall of the trauma that night as she almost committed suicide because of the desire for death and choice to take her life that night and she exclaimed, “Oh! Deep pain!! I have never felt this way before. I remained on the floor for 10 minutes, I gathered little strength, I got up sluggishly, went to the kitchen, I picked up the sharpest knife that my mum loved using.
“As I tightly closed my eyes and tried to stab myself, to my greatest surprise, I became stiffened, the last thing I saw was how the knife dropped off my hand.
“I opened my eyes after eight hours, I found myself in a strange place, I was at the hospital, I saw mum beside me weeping, I had memory loss, I didn’t remember what had happened.
“I tried talking, but it was as if my buccal cavity stopped functioning. I asked mum through sign language what I was doing there at the hospital, since I couldn’t talk. She said ‘you were unconscious, you were brutally raped, daughter, who did this to you?’ My mum was weeping bitterly, raining curses on him and his generation.
“I then remembered the scene, immediately, I caught serious cold. I was shaking, my mum had to cry out to doctor to rescue me.
Traumatized, lost my hymen for ever
I wished I were not born to this world, I wished I were seeing a movie, but it was real. I was in pain, my pride had gone so cheaply, I asked mum; ‘Do doctors sell hymen?’ Hymen of those that are dead or plastic hymen and mum please, I want my pride back. I asked God why He allowed this, ‘I taught you loved me?’
“I was demoralised, I looked for my self-esteem, I couldn’t find it. Mum held me in her arms, wiped my tears, and said, ‘Daughter, you would rise again,’ she said while she was gasping, in tears. I slept off in her arms. My feelings were insurmountable and insuppressible”, she wept.
The Valiant Voices Organisation, VVO, which serves as the voice of rape victims and filing lawsuit against accused persons in order to get justice for rights violation, said victims should not hesitate to approach it as Martha did.
Making this known was the Founder and National Coordinator, VVO, Ogundokun Temitope, who also is a human rights activist, said the organisation will continue to sensitise the public about issues on rape, child abuse and other human rights cases, and how victims could seek justice and violators adequately punished.
“Today, I raise my voice as a courageous valiant lady without fear of any repercussion, that every victim of sexual abuse, maybe it happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, five years ago, or yesterday; you have every right to file a lawsuit against the accused, if he is still alive and you know his whereabouts,” Temitope stated.
In her counsel to rape victims, she said: “You do not have to stay in silence and depression. Break loose of that grip by speaking out. It is high time we took back our power from depraved psychopaths who believe they can use us forcefully whenever they like.
“Victims, come out of your past, forgive yourself and come alive. The Lord can redefine you. He can pick you out of that dirty miry clay and place you on the solid rock to stay. Just allow Him to refurbish you. He alone can rebuild you.”