Joan Amanda Banura is the Executive Director, Uganda Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Adolescent Health.
24 year old Joan who is also a freelance journalist was sexually attacked at age 6. The experience, she says brought out the best in her.
JOAN AMANDA BANURA’S NEAR RAPE EXPERIENCE AT AGE 6
“Only those that has been sexually violated can best describe sexual violence,” says Joan.
“I came from a violent family. My father’s friend attempted to defile me at age six. It was a harrowing experience. My mother on the other hand was continuously violated by my father. I witnessed how my father and mother were always engaging in serious fight.”
Joan’s childhood was not a memorable one as she witnessed the physical assault on her mother by her father.
“My childhood was not palatable but I was determined to survive. I managed to live through all that as my mother was always beaten up by my dad. But luckily enough, I survived it but I never forget that experience because it is still fresh in my memory, how I survive is a miracle.”
Her near rape experience began when her mother got admitted to the hospital for the delivery of her last child. Leaving her and two of her siblings in the house alone.
“While my mother was still in the hospital, I overheard my father and his friend planning on how to send her away when she returned and, if she refused, they will beat her to death. Upon hearing this, I became afraid since she just had the baby through Caesarean Section,” Joan stated.
Still a child, Joan made efforts to tell her aunt about her father’s plan. Her father’s friend got hold of her while she tried sneaking out.
“My father’s friend rushed to my father to inform him that their plan may have leaked as I overheard what they discussed. In an effort to stop me from making a second attempt to escape, they locked me up in one of the rooms in the house. But thanks to the defect in the construction work in the house. I broke the window of the room where I had been locked and asked my younger sister to alert one of our neighbours (Mama Linda) who went to report the case to the police. But the police came only to say the matter was a family affair and that my father should free me from the room where I had been locked”.
The night of the sexual assault.
“Upon returning home that same night, my father arranged for my mother’s arrest. We were left all alone again in the house as my father had gone out to drink with his friends.”
But troubled by the events in her home, Joan could not sleep.
“That night when our mother was in the cell and my father went out to drink, his friend, Sam, returned to the house. I was the only one in the living room because my little sisters had slept inside the room. I could not sleep because of the ugly events happening around me. My father’s friend came in asking me why I didn’t sleep, and started touching me. At that point, I knew he was an enemy.”
Joan was scared
“He tried to push me to the couch in the living room while trying to rest on me. I refused to lie down. He began to tell me sweet things. He told me that I was beautiful, and how he will take care of me. He undressed. By then, I did not know how a man’s organ looked like but here in front of me was a very huge one. I screamed and he held my hands and cupped my mouth and I bite him”.
“I quickly went to the bedroom to alert my siblings. But before I came back, he had dressed up and pretended as if nothing happened.”
Moments later, there was a knock on the door. Lo and behold, it was her father at the door whose return to the house ended the nightmare.