I am a single woman but I was married and I parted ways with my husband as we had our own issues and I had to return to my family. I moved in with my mother and my brother and my mother passed on. After my mother’s death my brother changed and told me that I should go back to my husband. He did not understand why I was living with him; he would beat me up and throw my clothes outside.
One day he came home very angry and I did not have any idea what had happened to him. He kicked me out of our parents’ place telling me that I did not deserve to stay there, I was a married woman and therefore I should go back to my husband. Somebody offered me a place that they were not using and I am now staying there. I am staying with my sister’s children. She also passed on, she left 13 children and I am staying with all of them.
I am not working, but I decided to stay with the children as nobody wanted to live with them, but I thought I would manage because they wanted somebody to look after them and I thought it was the right thing to do. I did not know that I was actually raising somebody who would one day want to rape me. One day I was at the wedding of our relative and I went out to pee and within a short time this boy came, my sister’s child whom I was raising came and held my throat very tightly, I just could not believe it. I thought I was imagining it, but it was actually him.
I never thought my own sister’s child would one day want to sleep with me, his own mother. We fought as I tried to push him back, but he was also very powerful. I called him by his name and he just looked at me and told me that he wanted to sleep with me, I really did not believe my ears, I asked him whether it was really him, seriously I could not believe him.
I cried very loudly, I tried to find help because it was getting very serious as he was then trying to remove my clothes and he was all over me, luckily it was very busy at the wedding and so many people heard me and they came, but he ran away. Even today I still do not believe that he tried to rape me.
He never came back home and I went to my brother to tell him what had happened and he told me straight that I deserved it and he was sure that I was very drunk and since I had left my husband that boy was trying to help his aunt who wanted a man. I cried like a child, I could not believe my brother. My child had tried to rape me and then my brother said that to me. I told him that I was going to report the matter to the police and he told me that if I ever went to the police he would call the boy together with his friends to rape me. He told me that if I did not want to be raped by small boys, I should go back to my husband. He knew very well that I had very serious issues with my husband. I have never seen him since then, but I heard that he came when I was not around and told his siblings that he would still sleep with me.
Last year (2013), in March, I was sleeping with the children I was living with and I heard that somebody was pushing the door, I asked who it was, but nobody answered and it was him. He was there with three boys and they pointed a gun at me and told me that I should go outside, I did not waste any time when I saw the gun, I went straight out and he asked them who wanted to start. I wanted to cry and he said “do not dare because this is what you do every day, just give us what we want and try to cooperate”. I was so shocked, they all raped me, including him, when they were done he told me that they were satisfied and I should go back to sleep, but they might come again if they needed to.
I went to the police station the following day and when my brother heard that I was laying charges against him he came to me again and threatened me again and forced me to write a letter to the police saying that I was dropping the charges. I had to do that because my brother was threatening me so badly.
- Malebo, not her real name. This story is part of the ‘I’ Stories series produced by the Gender Links News Service encouraging the view that speaking out can set you free.