Latest Blogs#BeyondSurviving-ARC survivor stories - Adult Rape Clinic

10/12/2019by admin0

Story 1

My name is Tatenda* I am 17 and was working as a domestic worker earning  120 RTGS until I realized that it was no longer sustainable. My mother is not well and being the breadwinner, I urgently needed to raise funds to pay for her medical bills. I decided to start a small business of selling maputi (corn snacks), I used my exit salary to buy corn and get it popped in Harare CBD. It was during this expedite, that I came across a couple who offered to help me start my business, they offered to show me the places to buy and sell and even offered me a place to stay.

On day 3, after selling the last batch of maputi, the wife pronounced that she was now going back home to check on the kids and that the husband would remain with me in town. He asked that I give him the money and my phone for safe keeping, we spend the day in Harare CBD until we walked up to some people he claimed to be vazukuru { nephews/nieces) and waited until around midnight when another lady ( who happened to be one of his many wives) joined us, all the while I kept requesting to go home. Just around midnight we walked to get lifts to go home, the man handed me some money and told me I could go home first. As I got closer to the house, I heard footsteps behind me and turned around to see the two behind me, they stopped me then the lady grabbed me by my hands and legs whilst the man raped me.

This all happened a few meters from their house because soon after the assault, he called his younger brother who came to help them lift me up. I was now powerless after trying to fight off the pair during the assault. I was locked in the house for 2 weeks surviving on maputi and water, it was in the 3rd week after the man had left to get into town that I requested for the ladies to let me out to get some sunshine which is when I escaped.  I left around 8am and arrived in Harare CBD around 2pm, as I was about to board a lift to go to my rural home the man appeared and told me he had been following me the whole day, threatened me and said it was impossible for me to leave him or get him arrested. He took me back to his house and beat me up. I spent another week in doors with my body aching until a day when the man and his 5 wives decided to go to town and I was left to fend to their two toddlers and do the house chores. I went to the neighbors to ask for help who then disclosed that this was a regular occurrence at this house and the man never gets arrested. She told me to go back and said she would assist me with bus fare so I could return to my mother.

The man and his family returned and noticed I hadn’t done the chores assigned to me, they reported me to the man who summoned me to an empty room in his house, put on a religious garment and then ordered his youngest wife to fetch 3 buckets of water.

He proceeded to beat me up with a staff stick (tsvimbo) whilst pouring the buckets of water over me and proclaimed that he was cleansing me of demonic spirits that were preventing me from wanting to be his wife. He then said the others used to be like that as well until they got used to it, he raped me again that night.

The following day, one of the wives who was away returned and she went to bed with the man that night, the following morning I woke up very early and pretended like I wanted to use the bathroom and escaped. I went to my Pastor’s house who then came with me to ARC.

Long as it is, this is how my story started, how I became a survivor . Right now, if anyone was to ask what I need the most they would expect me to say justice. The law taking its course will play a huge role in bringing the perpetrator to book but #BeyondSurviving I currently have no job, I also carry the burden of my mother’s illness heavily on my shoulders and just a 17-year-old girl trying to make ends meet

 

Story 2

Patience 28*

I was approached by my ex-husband and his current wife accusing me of stealing from them when I left our matrimonial home. The pair manhandled me and took my wallet which contained $50usd that I had managed to raise from my job as a vendor. They dared me to follow them back to their house and prove my innocence to which I obliged in hope that they would eventually return my wallet.

When we arrived at my ex’s home they forced me into the house then he forced himself on me and raped me whilst his wife gripped my arms to restrain me from escaping as he continued to have unprotected sex with me. When he was done, he ordered me to take my clothes and go, he gave me back the wallet but had taken all the money. I reported the matter to the police and was referred to ARC. I managed to receive help within 72 hours.

I am 28 years, a survivor and currently living on the streets because I have no place to stay, I am failing to restock for my vending business or afford decent shelter. The only money I had was taken the day I was raped and assaulted by my ex husband and his wife.

 

Story 3

My name is Noma and I’m 15 years old, I visited my sister and her husband for the holidays, whilst I was there a fight broke out between the two over relish. Babamukuru (Brother in law) then took an axe and threatened to harm everyone, my sister calmed him down and he stated he would only comply on the basis that I accompany him to the shops to buy the relish that he wanted.

It was on our way to the shops that he diverted the route and walked us towards a stream. Though quite unfamiliar with the area I sensed something was amiss and asked if we were still going the right direction. He then grabbed me from behind and told me that he had always admired me but was scared to tell me it was during this conversation that he pushed me down and then proceeded to rape me.

I tried to fight back as hard as I could but he overpowered me and threatened to kill me. I obliged and negotiated for him to spare my life and also told him that I would not to tell a soul what had happened if he would just let me go unharmed.

We walked back home and when we arrived he is the one who disclosed to my sister what had happened and then threatened to kill himself I ran to tell the neighbors what had happened. The neighbours reacted swiftly and managed to convince him that this issue could be solved internally and there was no need for him to commit suicide. All this happened to stall time because some of the neighbors had already tipped off the police who then arrived and placed him in custody

My brother-in-law already had some abusive tendencies that we had for so many years ignored because my sister and I are both orphaned and he knew that we had nowhere else to go.  Upon reporting my case to the police we found out that he already had some pending charges of raping and impregnating he’s 12 year old sister.

#BeyondSurviving I am only 16 years old with no documentation, my desire was to go to school or at least take a hairdressing course  because I have a passion for it . I fear this dream will never come true , because this man was the breadwinner in our family. My sister and I are now doing piece jobs for survival.

 

These are just but a few of the stories of survivors. Many more will be added in days to come. The appeal is for you to act, #BeyondSurviving is a continuous campaign which we hope will entice a culture of survivor oriented accountability and action.

NB- These stories have been shared by ARC with the full and well informed consent of the survivor and cannot be reshared . Details like names and exact ages have been adjusted to protect the identities of the survivor. 

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