*Disclaimer/trigger warning: The following story may be potentially triggering and emotionally challenging to read due to the use of some words and references.*
At the PDAid Foundation we feel it is vital to share stories and news related to the circumstances in Kenya, specifically the atrocious experiences that the youth are facing. This following story is an example of a difficult and extremely devastating story that many young girls are, unfortunately, experiencing. A report from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics from 2014 highlights that 14% of women aged 15-49 in Kenya have experienced sexual violence. It is important to mention that this is likely an inaccurate number as women in Kenya are afraid to report or talk about these experiences, which leads to underreporting.
Photo: Thiago Matos (via Pexels).
Rape is something that left me feeling like a loser, worthless, damaged, suicidal, murderous, used and broken in all the ways possible. Everyone who has experienced it comes out of it differently. Some turn to prostitution, thinking that they are punishing themselves, thinking that if they had done something differently, then maybe things would have been different. Others commit suicide. And I know exactly why they do it. Others keep all those deeply hurt emotions inside for so long that by the time someone realizes that something is wrong, they are damaged beyond repair. I could go on and on and still no one would understand unless they were victims themselves.
I was raped. I thought of hurting myself, but I felt it wasn’t going to be enough. The worst part was the memories. I woke up some nights shaking and crying because I remembered. I was only a kid for God’s sake. I could still see his huge body coming towards me, and I moved backward to avoid contact. He advanced faster, and I lost my balance and fell. Then he was on top of me, suffocating me with his huge body. I can still smell the garlic from his breath, alcohol and cheap perfume. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to push him off of me, but I wasn’t strong enough.
I was crying and yelling at him to get off me. He then hit me across the face and told me that he would inform my mother if I didn’t cooperate. That’s when my tiny mind knew that my own mother had traded me for money with one of the men who spent the nights in her bed, where we could hear everything that went on. Then I felt the pain. It felt like I was being torn apart from the inside out, and someone was burning me with acid on the wound. My back was on the cold, hard floor, but I didn’t feel that pain. I could see him through my teary eyes, sweat pouring from his fat, ugly face, moving against me over and over again until he was done and collapsed on top of me.
I walked home painfully, feeling so cheap, like I had exchanged intercourse with a plate of food. Then I saw my mother lying on the bed, passed out from drinking. I wanted to take a knife and run it straight through her cold heart, but I was too exhausted and too bruised. I was hurt. All I wanted was to wash it all off. I scrubbed until my skin turned red, but no matter how much I washed, I couldn’t get it off.
Rape is the worst thing that could ever happen to a woman. It takes away the only part of you that you should give out on your own free will. I had thought that it was the only time I was ever having to go through that kind of pain, but it was only the beginning of a series of rapes by my mother’s boyfriends. In my young mind, I didn't know exactly what was happening. All I knew was that it was wrong and that it shouldn’t be happening.
I had no one to tell or talk to, so I kept it all in.
Besides news from the PDAid Foundation, we also share stories that shed light on the current situation and circumstances in Kenya. These stories highlight some of the issues that the Kenyan youth are facing or have faced in the past. The stories are based on various news and articles, that we refer to in the text, and are compiled by PDAid Foundation’s project assistant (who was the first mentee of the PDAid Foundation) who have and is experiencing some of these issues first hand.
Kindly note that this particular story is written by a writer who wishes to remain anonymous.