I WAS ALMOST RAPED
We have a comedian in our country who loves beginning his shows with a ‘Turn to your neighbor and tell them you must have been a beautiful baby!’ A nice way to start a show I must say, especially encouraging to those who have never felt beautiful and all those who have struggled with their self image for years. You must have been a beautiful baby! You must be wondering what this has got to do with security and the topic at hand, but just follow on you will understand where I am heading with this.
I am a beautiful woman, I trust I was a beautiful baby, I have pictures to show that I was a beautiful baby. There was a time when a compliment that ‘you are such a beautiful woman’ would just wow my heart, but after living the years I have lived, after meeting the people that I have met, I must say this being beautiful is a curse to me. I never used to feel this way, but after surviving a near rape ordeal from a man who was a family friend, old enough to be my father, I have come to understand that beauty can be trouble.
5 years ago, I was going through what I can only call the lowest moments of my life. I was left by the father of my baby, found myself coming a single mother, I had no clue how to be a parent, I didn’t even have a single coin to my name. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong for me. And it was like everyday I would wake up to more bad news! After a while, life became so unbearable for me that I had to move back home with my parents. I was depressed because I felt like I had failed my parents, I had failed myself, I had failed my child by having her in such a situation. I had a father whom I adored, but I could not give the joy of growing up with a father to my daughter, I was indeed a big failure in my eyes! I hated my life! i felt like no one understood me, understood what i was going through and because of this, i locked everyone out of my life. I was in my own world where no one could judge me for being a failure.
So it was during this phase of depression when i hit rock bottom. My mother had a long time friend who had known us since i was a teenager. He seemed like a decent man, i knew him for years, knew his wife, and his kids. So when he would travel out of the country, he always used to bring us gifts. Nothing was out of usual with our meetings so i trusted the man. It wasn't long after before the man, asked me if i could be his girlfriend. I innocently told him i could not, because he was way older than me and he was a married man. To which he replied he is a divorced man. It never used to alarm me that he constantly commented how beautiful i am and how he would like to take me out.
One Saturday morning, this man called me up and asked if i could drop by his office to pick up some stuff he had brought from Egypt for my mother. He even called my mother to ask if she could permit me to come pick up some stuff from his office, and my mother said yes. So i set off for his office in the afternoon. When i arrived, he had so many people in his office so he asked me to just wait. It ended up being almost two hours of waiting. So when i went in to his office, i was a bit impatient. And it was funny that on that day my heart was very unsettled around him. I didn't know why, but even when i was coming from home, i felt a voice inside me telling me to change the dress i was wearing. I went back and changed my mini-dress and put on a jtrouser jeans. When i got in, i saw the man rise up went out of the office then came back. Little did i know that the man went to dismiss all his employees! When he came back, He locked the office and since i had seen him do that before it didnt alarm me.
I only got alarmed when he went back and sat behind his desk, got out a gun and placed it on the desk and asked me, "Why do you pretend like you have never had sex with a man before!?" I was so shocked i became speechless! He came round his desk and came sat directly where i was seated and Told me "How did you get pregnant? Did the man rape you? Coz if that is what happened then am going to do the same today!" It was at this exact point where I realized that my life is in danger. From the most unlikely man, i was about to get raped at gunpoint. Without a warning, the man just pounced on me and tore my blouse open. Before i knew it i was gagged. He lifted me up as if i weighed nothing and pinned me on his desk, my hands held behind my back with such a firm grip that if i moved i felt like my hands were coming out of the sockets. With his free hand, he tried to remove my trouser, but the trouser was so tight that he could not do so easily. So when he realized he could not do it, he opened up a zip and his hands were in places i wouldn't even want t tell. I was struggling with him, and after a while, he managed to get my trousers down! i Knew that this was it for me, if i didn't act quickly, i would be raped. So i stopped struggling and decided it would be safer for me to play along with him. When the man saw i was no longer struggling, he relaxed his grip. I had to look like i was willing, he losed his grip on my hand and i was able to remove the gag.
It was then that, i told him that i dont think this would be a safe place for us to do this. He turned me to face him and asked me why! Told him my mother knew where i was and she would be coming to his office if she called and i didn't pick up the phone when she called. I thank God that at that very moment someone called my phone, and i told him, i have to pick it, thats my mother. And if i dont pick she will come and find him raping me! I saw his expression changing as sense and fear hit him. I then suggested it would be better if we could just go somewhere else and continue what was started in his office with no fear and where both of us could enjoy the act. I can only Say that God saved me, because the man who was on the verge of raping me a few minutes ago accepted.
He led me out of the office into his car, and it was then that i saw my opportunity to run. I didn't even care that my blouse was all torn, I just ran! it was so unfortunate that i had to take public transport back home! I remember getting into a Bus that was empty and breaking down uncontrollably! Ofcourse no one asked me what i was going through, they probably assumed i was a mad woman so they left me alone. I took the backmost seat in the bus and as i waited for the bus to be filled, i hated being a woman so much that i began to contemplate suicide! I hated being noticed by men, i hated being called beautiful. I got back home, took a shower and cried myself to sleep. I never shared what happened with anyone at home because i didnt know where to start, would they believe me? and In the back of my mind i felt it was my fault after all i took myself to the slaughter house. I blamed myself with a maybe i was dressed provocatively. The only person i could share with what i was gong through was my best friend! We cried together and that still didn't help! I hated being a woman so bad. It took me 2 years to recover from this incident. After two years, i came face to face with this man who almost raped me and told him i forgive him.
And this experience Got me thinking, what does security mean for a woman? I was lucky that i was almost raped! but what about the women who are not so lucky? what about the women who get repeatedly gang raped? what about the women who are raped by their own fathers, uncles, brothers, stepfathers, neighbours, even their husbands? If i had to take 2 years to recover from an almost experience, what about those who are actually raped? Security for me means being safe from sexual predation. Just because you are a woman doesn't mean that you are a sex symbol. Security for me means being able to be secure in my identity not only as a woman, but as a beautiful, curvy woman. Let the woman enjoy being a woman, not being scared who wants to take advantage of her sexually! If the world can be made a more secure place for the woman i would the most happiest woman.
I currently run an interdenominational organization for women called the women of excellence and i have had to counsel women who are left as single mothers, some who are widows, some rape survivors and i must add my voice and say 'Can WE MAKE THE WORLD A SECURE AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN?'