This story has been on my mind to share for a long time now, and I’ve decided to do so through SISTERS. I was in Senior Secondary 2 when the sad incident happened. I had left my family in Lagos to stay with my maternal great uncle’s family in Kano State, Nigeria to further my secondary school education.
I loved reading and would lock myself up after completing my house chores to read book after book. A nephew of my aunt’s was staying with us in the house. His name was Bayo*. He was sent over because he was proving stubborn for his parents to manage. My aunt was a disciplinarian and was up to the task of putting him aright. I never liked Bayo because of his wayward ways. I was always on my guard when in his presence. I had heard a lot about his escapades, especially with girls. He was just a teenager as I was and he had committed atrocities that were too numerous to count.
Then there was an incident one day at our temporary home. My aunt caught Bayo stealing her money. She decided to punish him, getting him naked and implementing a favourite punishment of hers called “pick pin.” I witnessed him receiving the punishment when I was sent to get an item from my aunt’s room. I didn’t feel sorry for him and concluded that he deserved it, not knowing that he was going to soon play one of his dangerous games on me!
On a faithful day, I was in my room reading a book as usual and was fully carried away with it, when Bayo sneaked in and locked the door. I was brought back to the present from my sojourn when a voice said, “I want to have sex with you.” I was motionless for some seconds as the impact of his words hit me hard. My befuddled mind couldn’t react immediately to the scene unfolding. Did I hear correctly? I asked myself. Or am I hallucinating? When he did not get a reaction from me after his declaration, he moved a step closer to me, with his hand outstretched to grab my arm. With my heart pounding fast in my chest, I walked a few steps backwards bumping into my bed while trying to stay out of his reach.
The first words that came out of my mouth were “Calm down” with my hands demonstrating the phrase. As if like magic, he stopped in his track and my brain was working at an astonishing speed. What I did next came as a surprise to me and I believe that Allah’s Rahmah had propelled me to action.
After some seconds without any words between us, he moved closer again, and it was at that point I met him midway and sank my teeth into his left cheek. I held his cheek flesh between my jaws firmly as I dragged both of us to the door, which I found he had locked. He was squealing from pain at every step we took, and he was pleading with me not to tug at his cheek so hard.
I spoke unclearly with my teeth still planted deep in their target, telling him to open the door. From my room, I dragged us to the main entrance of the house. He unlocked this door also. I released my grip on his cheek and fled out of the house to safety.
I was shaking and crying at the same time as I navigated my way to a neighbour’s. The girl who happened to be attending the same school with me said that she heard my shout but wasn’t sure where it was coming from. I stayed at her house until my uncle and aunt got back from work.
I was shocked when my uncle blamed me after narrating my story. My uncle asked whether Bayo was a stranger and had he not being staying in the house for a while. He practically said I was lying! I was so infuriated and did not know what to say. On the other hand, my aunt was silent, and I was sure she knew what her nephew was capable of doing, so she had nothing to say.
The most annoying part was that Bayo had the nerve to give a made-up story of me trying to turn off the TV while he was watching it. I was crying whilst narrating my own part and couldn’t express myself well.
Allah (SWT) saved me from the psychological nightmare of rape, and I am forever grateful. I promised myself not to have any male from my family or my husband’s staying permanently in our home, except for a short period. It is known through research that those who perpetrate the evil of sexual abuses are those close to you. May Allah (SWT) safeguard our daughters and sons from such wicked acts as rape.
A call to action: As mothers, we should train our boys to respect girls/women and even smaller/weaker boys because rapes are predominantly done by men. Telling girls to “be careful” alone isn’t enough. Be close to your children both male and female so that they can be free to confide in you in the case of any abuse.