I was raped by my uncle when I was just 8 years old. I was clueless to what he was doing to me at the time that till I got to my late adolescent age I didn’t speak up. He was my dad’s brother, charged with the responsibility of taking care of me and my siblings while my mum and dad were away at work.
I had just three siblings at the time, of which two were girls and one was a boy, with me being the eldest. Our parents were always out hustling so they brought our uncle from the village to take care of us. On that level of trust that my parents had for him. We even used to refer to him as our second daddy. Believe me when in say he was nothing but a monster.
Every time my parents were around he would be the so caring, you would think he was heaven sent and he could do no harm to us, but once they were gone he would look for the slightest opportunity to have his way with me.
He would give my younger siblings money to go out and buy stuff that wasn’t even sold around (sending them on a wild goose chase), telling them not to come back till they got it. Or another of his tactics was giving them permission to go play leaving me with him.
He would rape me incessantly till I couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to scream or fight him, but he was way bigger than I was and would simply hold me down and cover my mouth. After he was done with me he would put a knife to my neck and threaten me, telling me all sorts of horrible things he would do to me if I spoke out.
This vile act continued to my late teens. I was distraught, I felt alone, substandard, I started hating men in general, and didn’t relate well with them, I was in pains but I was also scared to tell anybody. I mean, how do you start to explain something like that. I wasn’t that close to my mum to just go over and be like “hey mum, dad’s brother has been raping me since I was 8, and I didn’t tell you then because I was scared”.
I couldn’t talk to friends because I felt they would see me as filthy. Neither was I able to talk to my siblings about it, I mean they looked up to me. Besides the only thing they would be able to do was to report to my parents, which at that time I felt wasn’t good because I didn’t know how they would react. I thought they would see me as a disappointment so I decided to keep my mouth shut and fight my battle myself.
At 17, I started fighting back more, and this beast of a uncle saw I wasn’t easy prey anymore due to the fact I was growing up and could fight harder now. I thought he would simply stop his ways and for a time I thought he did, until it dawned to me that he might be doing same to my vulnerable little sisters.
I didn’t know why but I felt uneasy when I had to leave him alone with them and go to school or somewhere else. I didn’t know how to ask them about it. I mean, what was I going to say? One of them was about 4 and the other was 8(same age I was when he started having his way with me).
At that moment I knew I was at the crossroads, I had 2 options. I could both shut up and let my sisters go through what I went through; or I could speak up and let this beast, this pedophile that calls himself my uncle be caught. I decided to go with option 2. Nobody has to go through what I went through.
However, in as much as I had made the decision of exposing this pedophile, I still didn’t know how to present it to my parents face to face.
Then an idea came to me; since I couldn’t face them, I wrote all about what my uncle had been doing to me since I was 8 and how he had threatened to kill me if I spoke out. I left the note on a table I knew my mother would find it and I went off to school, and luckily she did. By the time I got back she had informed my dad and both of them sat me down and asked me about it.
I confirmed everything but to my surprise when my uncle was called, he called me a liar and a witch. My dad decided to ask my younger sisters about it and you won’t imagine, he had started with my sister of 8 already. She told my mum and dad about how he had been luring her too and forcing her. At that moment he knew the game was over and ran away.
No matter what they did to him I knew he had already done the worst, I blamed myself for not speaking up sooner and subjecting my little sister to such vile acts.
That day it occurred to me that if I hadn’t spoken up, If I didn’t report him, my sister might have never had the nerve to report him either. He would have used her and transferred to my even smaller sister.
I keep telling people of my story to warn them of the consequence of not speaking out. Rapists, especially pedophiles are beasts. You can’t reason with a beast, it is in their nature to always prey on the weak. If he does it to you and you don’t report him so he can be stopped, he is definitely going to keep doing it to other people.WE SALUTE YOUR COURAGE #AlotusVoice