“I dropped out of school because my classmates were insulting me. They used to push me off the desk and down to the floor. They could say, they can’t share the desk with a girl who has already known a man”.
It was just after midnight in July 2016 when armed men broke into our compound in Gudele and knocked at the doors bringing everybody out to the courtyard. They started hitting the men with the back of their guns and ordered them to face the ground. They then got in and started looking for valuables and money inside the rooms.
“I could see some other armed men outside the compound with riffles. Probably to keep away rescuers in case of alarm. They pointed the barrel of their guns at us threatening to shoot if anyone attempts to make any move. I couldn’t count the number of armed men outside the fence but those who got in were two uniformed armed men”.
My mother and I were the only females in the compound so the two of us were led out of the compound. After a distance, they started hitting my mother with the back of the gun and she sustained an injury on her face. To date my mother has a scar on her face, which is a painful reminder of our ordeal on that fateful day.
“I pleaded with them not to kill her. My mother is everything to me and I am her only daughter’. My mother shouted but they threatened to kill both of us. The alarm attracted a neighbor who is a mentally sick man. When the armed men went towards him, in that split, we decided to take off. I made a narrow escape into another house in the neighborhood, but the men pursued me and took along some other two girls from that house. I was terrified to death. I was raped. Unfortunately the girls also suffered the same fate.
My mother later on told me that she tried to alert other neighbors, but most people were scared to come out to our rescue. The news about the rape spread in the community and eventually reached my school. I could not stand the insults from my schoolmates so I dropped out of school.
“I feel so guilty that it is because of me that the other two girls were also raped. I do not know whatever happened to them. I am deprived of peace; I felt everybody was talking ill of me. If it were me, I wouldn’t speak ill of any girl who have fallen a victim of such an incident. I got stigmatized. It was not my interest to drop out of school but I couldn’t cope. My interest was to study and become a medical doctor. I am not sure whether I can do that now. I feel so frustrated, angry and useless. Maybe one day that would change – I don’t know when.
Jane was 14 years old and in Primary six when this incident happened. She keeps to herself and has mostly been indoors. Her mother, who attended one of the trainings of Eve Organization, requested that Eve Staff talk to her daughter. This is an excerpt from her story, which is published with her consent. Jane’s real identity is withheld for privacy
by Yobu Annet