Why I blog...

I use this blog as a kind of therapy. Sometimes I'm happy and want to share it, sometimes it's just a random thought and sometimes it's to deal with things in my past. After all a burden shared is a burden halved

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The after effects

This blog post recounts the events following when the fun goes wrong

Her dad came home and we went down to our local police station to report what had just happened to our daughter. When we arrived the constable at the reception desk recognized her dad (he is a detective captain in the police service) and his whole demeanor was friendly. I allowed my (then husband) to do all the talking. They spoke in Afrikaans. The constable asked what he could do for us, her dad explained that we were there to report a rape and pointed to my daughter. The constable said he would call sergeant so..and..so.. To handle the complaint and take our statements. My ex said No, he wanted another detective to take this case. The constable looked at him and said “Why, it’s just a little rape case?” My ex then leaned forward and said “Because it’s my daughter”.  “Oh” said the constable, “Captain why didn’t you say so in the first place”.

This just made me think, that if I was a woman on my own, trying to report this ‘little rape’ as he put it, how differently would I have been treated.

The next step was to go to the district surgeon and have our daughter examined for evidence of rape. Because the incident occurred in the Mitchells Plein area, we had to drive back there to have this done. The thought of putting my daughter through the humiliation of having some stranger examine her down there, after what she had just been through was quite nauseating. The examination showed that there was a little vaginal tearing and there was proof of sexual activity.

Then we were off to the local clinic, where she was given the morning after pill and an HIV test. We had to endure a lecture about what to do in the event the HIV test was positive. Thankfully it was negative, but they informed us that it could take several months to show up and she was put on a course of antiretrovirals just in case. To be re-tested in three months time.

Now all that was left was for justice to take place and the accused to be arrested.

More on the court case next blog post

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rape is NOT about sex

Rape is not about sex, it’s about power, control and dominance.

When you have been raped your first response is that of shame and guilt. Did I do something to precipitate this? Is it my fault? Why did this happen to me?  Will anyone believe that I didn’t want this to happen? I feel so dirty I don’t want anyone to know. You feel ashamed of what happened, sometimes even afraid to speak out and tell someone. You keep this shame within you and carry those feelings of guilt around like an anvil. Your life is changed forever.

This is what the perpetrator does to you; he invades your inner soul and robs you of your innocence. He controls your thoughts as you re-live this horrifying experience in your head. He has power and control over your feelings and even your outlook on life. Your attitude towards men in general can change. Having been raped at the age of twelve and being the mother of a child who was raped at the age of fourteen, I have very strong opinions on this topic. When I see people commenting on rape stories in the media as if the person brought this upon themselves, it makes my blood boil.

Rape is a degrading act of violence against another human being, where the rapist needs to feel in control and exert force over another to feel powerful. Feeding off the fear and shame of another; I say, no more! Stop the control! Stop the shame! Get rid of the guilt and speak out. Rob him of his power to control.

 It took me four years before I told anyone about my rape, but once I did I could feel the burden of carrying this secret around lifting from me. That’s why I am so vocal about it; I encourage you to share your experience with someone. Once you do, you release all that guilt and shame upon the person who deserves it, the rapist! He no longer holds a power over you. You can say with conviction; it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t deserve this. He is the guilty one; HE should be ashamed for what he has done. I will no longer be a victim, I am a survivor. I am in control of MY life and my feelings.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

When the fun goes wrong

Read headline here

Friday August 8th 2003- Three high school girls decided to bunk school. Ever bunked school as a teenager? I know I have, but this particular day will stay with these girls forever. This is not my story, but I have agonized over telling it for some time.

Three girls aged fourteen – fifteen years met at school that morning, but instead of going in they decided to walk up to their local taxi rank and go for a ride. By the time they reached Wynberg taxi rank most of the commuters had already been dropped off and the taxis were mostly empty. They got in a taxi with the driver, his friend and the guardtjie (person who collects the fare from commuters). The driver told them they could sit up front; two of the girls (girl A and B) went to sit up front sandwiched between the driver and his friend, while the third (girl C) had to sit in the back with the guard.

Girl A asked the driver to take them to her boyfriend’s house in Grassy Park, the driver then asked them if they would like a free ride around, they said yes. The music was pumping (if you know anything about South African mini bus taxis you will know that loud thumping music is a standard) and they were off. During the course of the drive the guard gripped girl C to the back of the taxi and pinned her to floor and raped her.

A while later one of the girls in the front turned around and asked where her friend was, as she couldn’t see her. Girl C then got up from the floor and girl B could see that she had been crying. She then told to the taxi driver to stop the car as she needed to go to the toilet.

The driver stopped outside a KFC and the three girls went into the bathroom, where girl C told them what had happened. Not knowing where they were they asked a customer inside and was told that they were in Mitchells Plain (not the safest suburb for anyone let alone three fourteen year old girls). They went back to the taxi and told the driver to take them back to the taxi rank. When they got there all three girls parted ways and girl C went to a nearby friend’s house.

She told her friend what happened and her friend’s mother immediately phoned her mom.

That was when I received the worst phone call a mother could receive.

When I arrived to fetch my daughter her eyes were swollen form crying and at that moment I just wanted to kill the person who did this to my little girl.

There is much more to this story, but I will share what happened after that in my next post.

I asked my daughter first before posting this if I could share her story on my blog, she responded with “It was a long time ago, I have grown from this and it has made me a stronger person”.

To my beautiful, brave daughter - You have grown into such a lovely young woman and I am proud of you.