I walk into this meeting late to find introduction have already been made. I hurriedly look for a seat and sit myself down. From where I was seated I could barely see her and she barely talked she just gave comments here and there to the lady seated next to her. This meeting was no ordinary meeting this was a safe space that brought women and ladies of different ages and backgrounds together to discuss issue affecting women and create solutions together. Everyone had a seat at the table bringing new perspectives and new ideas .We talked about issues ranging from contraceptives to teen pregnancy, to abstinence, to HIV/AIDS, Gender equality and rape .Yet she didn’t show any type of reaction .Just as we were about to finish the session the moderator requested that each participant Share what they had learned especially those who barely spoke during the session and those who talked during the session like me to let others speak.
Suddenly the room was silent ,silent than it has ever been in those 2 hours we were there one by one they summoned up the courage to talk. And they did one by one. Then it was her turn to talk.
“When I was 10 years I was raped.” Pin drop silence. “It was very traumatizing for me as a 10 year old girl .the pain was unbearable the nightmares took a turn to the worst. I hated men, all men including my own brothers. To me all men were monster out to get little girls like me. Apart from men I hated the community around me I felt like it was their fault I was raped worst still they didn’t believe me. That made it even worse .Grateful for my immediate family they believed me took me to hospital. The fact that they believed made a whole lot of difference for me. That was what I held on to each time I would sink into depression, that Fact brought me out of it. I accepted to go for counseling. It’s there I learnt to accept I was raped and that gave me the courage to move out. As I stand here I can confidently say I pulled through .I made it though it was not easy I made it.” And down she sat
Deep in my mind thoughts were piling up .How terrible it must have been for a 10 year old girl to be raped. But one thought grew stronger and stronger by each passing minute. How important it is to believe survivors of rape. In that moment it’s what gives them the will to fight the will to live .That someone believes them. In such a situation it is what they need the most. It’s what they hold on to when everything seem to be fading away. So whoever need to hear this we believe you! I believe you! Let us take action.
BY Safari Sarah