Tuesday, 9 April 2013

When A Rapist Devours An Entire Family



I got a phone call from a hysterical mum who just discovered a shocking crime. She had gone to visit her daughter in school. Her daughter, a boarder, had attended a Sex Education class a day prior to her visit. During that class, the facilitator talked about the subject and also about rape - what it meant, who likely offenders were, signs he children should look out for and what those who had been raped should do.

She noticed her daughter was unusually reserved and with instincts only a mother can have; she asked if there was anything her daughter wanted to tell her. And that was the catalyst that revealed a story made for the world of fiction. Fighting the tears that spilled over her house wear, she told her mum everything. How a male relative from their father’s side who had been living with them for a couple of years had been sexually abusing her since she was in primary four.

 It got worse.

Her younger sister was also a victim.

Amidst tears, her younger sister who had tagged along for the visit confirmed it was true.

With her husband who worked out of town not picking up his call, the mum thought to call me, someone who just loves children and happened to be close to hers.

I found myself trembling.

I entered my car and sped to the house; I wanted to be there when they returned to offer my support but most importantly, I wanted to be there to prevent what I felt would be the murder of a young man who deserved to die.

So it was that the younger daughter told me in graphic detail, how the abuse started and continued for so long; in her case since she was in primary two. Most of the time her mum, a homemaker, would be in the house cooking a meal or caught up with something in her room. Then her ‘uncle’ would call out to her to bring something- a glass of water, newspaper; something.  Once she knocks on the door he pulls her and the object into his room and shuts the door. I could see she was clearly distraught. She would wring her hands and stammer and swallow and look at everything else but me.

Eventually the father picked up his call and was told the sordid news. His response? More investigation was needed. The accusation was too grave and he didn’t see his own relative, who he had brought in and trained and given a better life, doing what was being insinuated to his children.

The father came back home the next day and a meeting was arranged with him, another relative who lived around, the mum and the accused present. Facing intense scrutiny from all parties, the accused told a story that still chills my blood to this day. According to him, the rape was all a fabrication from a desperate woman. She was cheating and she knew he knew and fearing he would tell her husband, she doctored the children to frame him up so she could get him out of the way.

And boy, did it work?

In a cruel twist of events, the hunter became the hunted. No one wanted to know the details. No one asked questions. The ruse of rape was a good one but unfortunately, too grave to be pegged on an innocent, hardworking soul like the accused.

The incoherent ranting of the mum and her kicking and yelling was interpreted as signs of a woman who wanted to cover her shameless act. She found herself trying to disprove his allegation rather than the rapist disproving his. Narrating her story to me, I could hear the pain in her voice. The one place where she should have gotten support had swept the rug from under her feet.

The accused insisted they call the younger daughter and ask her side of the story. The poor seven year old was brought to sit in front of four grown ups asking if she had been having sex and for how long. With her mother crying by her side and all three men barking all sorts of questions at her; it proved too much for the kid. After stuttering a few times, she broke down in tears.

‘There you have it’ the accused said. If she hadn’t been doctored she would have been able to tell a coherent story.

Defeated, the mum asked for her daughters be examined by a qualified doctor; the father agreed and made the necessary arrangements.
It was a nurse that came out first, crying.
‘Who did this? Who did this to your children?’
The husband hastily told her it was a neighbour.
And then the Doctor came out and confirmed their worse fears. Their hymen was gone and their private parts had bruising and showed other signs of continuous abuse, more severely in the case of the younger daughter who lived in the house, than the oldest who was a boarder.
It was then the father broke down, crying like a mumu on the floor of the hospital reception.

It got worse.

The children’s minder, a teenager who was brought from the village told her own story when they got back from the hospital. Thankfully, her assault stopped at waking up to find his hand under her sleeping dress in the night or him squeezing her budding breasts and bum when he thought no one was looking.

The mum in utter shock clutched her last daughter to her chest and cried. She said every time she bathed the 3-year-old, the girl would never allow her wash her ‘bum bum’. She would complaint about pain and only allow the mum wash it when she promised to be gentle. Out of fear of what she might find out; she didn’t mention it to the father and never arranged for an examination.

Faced with such overwhelming confessions, the adultery story lost its hold and the accused was sent back to the village where he came from.

He never admitted to the crime, never apologized and was never prosecuted. The father said it would bring shame to the family name.

Its easy to cast blame on the parenting skills of the mother for negligence or carelessness or for not being observant but if you have never raised a kid, maybe you shouldn’t.

Trust is good. Trust is also bad. The saddest thing that can happen to anyone is to think you are safe with someone and wake up to find you’re sorely mistaken.

©Naomi Lucas

25 comments:

ibrahim stone said...

Stories like this abound every where in this country and everyday,whats more worrying to me is the complacency at which it is being treated with by both men and women. Victims suffer in silence, observers encourage the behavior by doing absolutely nothing about it or use shame, tradition as excuses. Its disgusting. Unfortunately, this ugly trend will continue simply because in Nigeria we prefer to pray than take action, i am sorry, God will not come down and change our mind sets and laws about such crimes, we must take action....then pray.

Anonymous said...

wooooow, you nailed this story, truthful and emotionally distressful..the untold story of women, virginity and sexual abuses.

Naomi Lucas said...

@ Ibrahim. The key word you used is complacency. It's sickening I tell you.

Naomi Lucas said...

@Anonymous. Untold or no one is listening? :)

nzesylva said...

I should be trembling after reading this gory story but i am not for the simple reason that i have read many such similar tales...have had quite a number of female friends who opened up to me about such abuse by trusted relatives, some of them now adults but scared of sex and unable to sustain a relationship. There is hardly any word rich enough to capture my level of disgust at the human beings...those uncles, house helps, neighbours, even parents who commit this dastardly acts. Often times, i have had course to blame parents who get too busy and fail to properly monitor what happens to their daughters. But can anyone be too careful really?

My take is for parents (mothers especially) to talk to their daughters about these stuffs (the kind that the senior girl got in school) early enough so that they can report once abuse starts.

Secondly, identified culprits must be named, shamed and made to face the law or made to undergo necessary therapy. This monster (who after abusing the girls almost also caused a broken marriage) was let off, back to the village where he would score many easy victims. The police does not help matters, when they wave such cases off as 'family matter', we also do not help society when we for the sake of any family honour hide such occurrences. What honour is left for those abused children? A way around it is getting everyone involved to enforce existing laws against sex offenders. In my opinion, such penalties should not just be jail terms. Pedophiles need psychiatric and medical help to prevent them being risks to other children in future.

Thirdly, we need parental/child support services for families who have undergoned such horrid experience. This family (both parents and victims) need counseling to enable them go past this without permanently damaging their psyche. Sadly we do not have many of such services in Nigeria. In the absence of govt help, this is what our many churches and NGOs should be doing.

I share the pain of your friend and the girls. I hope and pray they get the help and the grace to get over this.

Nze.

nzesylva said...

I should be trembling after reading this gory story but i am not for the simple reason that i have read many such similar tales...have had quite a number of female friends who opened up to me about such abuse by trusted relatives, some of them now adults but scared of sex and unable to sustain a relationship. There is hardly any word rich enough to capture my level of disgust at the human beings...those uncles, house helps, neighbours, even parents who commit this dastardly acts. Often times, i have had course to blame parents who get too busy and fail to properly monitor what happens to their daughters. But can anyone be too careful really?

My take is for parents (mothers especially) to talk to their daughters about these stuffs (the kind that the senior girl got in school) early enough so that they can report once abuse starts.

Secondly, identified culprits must be named, shamed and made to face the law or made to undergo necessary therapy. This monster (who after abusing the girls almost also caused a broken marriage) was let off, back to the village where he would score many easy victims. The police does not help matters, when they wave such cases off as 'family matter', we also do not help society when we for the sake of any family honour hide such occurrences. What honour is left for those abused children? A way around it is getting everyone involved to enforce existing laws against sex offenders. In my opinion, such penalties should not just be jail terms. Pedophiles need psychiatric and medical help to prevent them being risks to other children in future.

Thirdly, we need parental/child support services for families who have undergoned such horrid experience. This family (both parents and victims) need counseling to enable them go past this without permanently damaging their psyche. Sadly we do not have many of such services in Nigeria. In the absence of govt help, this is what our many churches and NGOs should be doing.

I share the pain of your friend and the girls. I hope and pray they get the help and the grace to get over this.

Nze.

Naomi Lucas said...

@ Nze the wise one :) I can't argue with your comments. You have spoken the truth. But I wonder, can one force a rapist to undergo therapy? The guy never showed remorse and till this day feels like the victim in the story...

femme lounge said...

this is so disheartening. He went away without being prosecuted?? I am short of words...

idomagirl.com said...

They should have poisoned him.

dottaraphels said...

Words fail me....I thank God for his Love for this courageous mother and her babies. I know that this is very common in our world. I believe that this is a blessing to this family because it could have ended far worse than this. A wicked and evil man stole innocence and thinks he has gotten away free....KARMA IS A PATIENT MISTRESS AND HIS DAY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

Naomi Lucas said...

@Femme Lounge, in this case justice was never served :(

Naomi Lucas said...

@Idomagirl and it would've looked like the mother still had something to hide ehn?

Naomi Lucas said...

@Dottaraphels, I agree with you...

Tessa Doghor said...

A Father is a Priest Protector & Provider. I am sorry but this father has failed his girls and let a criminal walk free. My prayer is that the girls find Christ for themselves and discover who they are in Christ. My prayer for the mom is that she finds forgiveness in God and discovers her identity in Christ in Jesus name. Amen. It is tragic but it doesn't have to end tragic. Their story is far from over.

Naomi Lucas said...

Amen Tessa :)

Uzezi said...

Sad. And much more scary because I am a mother. We need our laws in this country to change so that these criminals wont go free feeling like kings and doing same to other children.

Naomi Lucas said...

I agree with you Uzezi :(

Sisi Yemmie ™ said...

Wait! Nothing was done to him? This is horrible! Omg! I'm shaking. Poor babies! Jeeeeez! Parents should observant. Abeg no uncle or aunty in my house oh cos I'm too familiar with things like this

Sisi Yemmie ™ said...

Wait! Nothing was done to him? This is horrible! Omg! I'm shaking. Poor babies! Jeeeeez! Parents should observant. Abeg no uncle or aunty in my house oh cos I'm too familiar with things like this

Efosa Aimiuwu said...

someone should arrange for the guy to be shot 5 times in the head. period.

Kash said...

Naomi I know you said it's a true story but am sorry I have to ask again. Is this really true? Can't? How? I have no words cos I know too well that "Let's leave it to God mentality" Nigerians have....am so irritated? If it was "his neighbor" that father will probably have persecuted without thinking . Does blood relationship make it less of a crime?

Naomi Lucas said...

@Efosa, that's just 1 rapist out of how many million? We need a more sustainable solution...

Naomi Lucas said...

@Efosa, that's just 1 rapist out of how many million? We need a more sustainable solution...

Naomi Lucas said...

Kash, it was like a movie when it happened but it actually did happen. Here in Lagos sef!

Naomi Lucas said...

Kash, it was like a movie when it happened but it actually did happen. Here in Lagos sef!