Most of my pieces are "lightweight" compared to others here, but...
I have been asking my colleague, a 21-year-old French Algerian woman living in England, to join WP and tell what she has told me, but she says she couldn't.
She says it is in the past and not to tell today.
But I think it will help writing it out for all to see, and help other girls in similar situations.
So she has agreed to let me tell it - what follows is EXACTLY her words: we have changed names (including hers) and we have asterisked some personal words.
(She has seen my finished piece and agreed to it.)
Selma was a lovely happy 14-year-old French Algerian girl with an older brother and a younger sister.
One day, her stern father told her he had a secret to trust her with because she had reached the age of woman (14). She had actually started her menstrual cycle two years before but he didn't know (unless her mother had told him).
But he said that at the age of 14, all Algerian girls should lose their virginity and experience sex. He said it must always be a secret between the two of them, and her mother and her siblings must never know. If she told, she would be forever cursed.
"But Papa", she said., "I've never heard of this", to which he said "that's because other girls have also kept the secret".
One evening when her brother was out playing football and her mother and sister were at the cinema, he told her that "her time had come".
"He produced his big "pencil" and demanded I worshipped it and prepared for it. I had sex ed classes at school so I knew what he meant"
"But when he plunged he hit both my v*g*n*l and ur*thr*l holes and it was very painful.
I could not tell anyone about it because it was a secret and I didn't know he was deceiving me".
"For a week afterwards, everytime I used the toilet I was in agony and the pee did not hit the water like before, but it went everywhere.
My 12-year-old sister Laura said "are you alright?" and I said "Oh yes I am now a woman and sometimes have pain and do not pee normally"
After having time off from school, Selma felt better and she kept the secret for a year. But then her sister was 13 and Selma suddenly thought of her agony coming. She had always doted on Laura and kept her away from her brother who had thought that as he was a boy he had a right see his sisters in embarrassing positions.
As time went on, Selma thought 'Do I tell my sister what to expect?' 'Do I tell my mother because I think it was wrong?' 'Do I tell my doctor?'
Fortunately, that wasn't necessary.
One day, Selma's cousin (Julia) said she had to talk to Selma. She was 16 and had had sex with a 17 year old bioy. She had told the boy that she was a virgin but he claimed he could tell that she wasn't.
It wasn't just a boy pretending to be knowledgeable about sex, and the truth came out. Selma's father had taken Julia's virginity when she was 14 too. Julia told Selma and they reported him together.
He was arrested and sentenced.
He is now free but in poor health and unlikely to survive another 6 months.
So Laura was saved.
When Selma was asked by a local newspaper reporter whether she had mixed feelings about her father's terminal disease she said "No, I lost my father when I was 14. He was replaced by a b*st*rd who stole my most precious gift".
She now has a boyfriend whom she is very happy with.
Her mother still refuses to believe that her husband could ever do what he did.
Laura is now 19 and, in her own words, is "in and out of relationships".