Story told by Achieng
Edited by Michael Okun Oliech
I remember that painful and terrifying day vividly. It was on Saturday, March 28th 2018 at around 10pm when I was brutally defiled by a man I didn’t know or recognize.
Our home is located three hundred meters away from a famous restaurant here in seme sub county. On that day out of curiosity, my elder sister and I decided to go and check on what was happening there due to the loud music and shouting that came from the area. When we reached, we found out that one of the popular Luo musicians was performing. There were a lot of people both inside and outside the restaurant so we decided to stay outside for a while since I was underage and could not be allowed in. After I had enough, I decided to leave my sister as she seemed to be enjoying herself and walked home.
Before I got far, I noticed I was being followed by a man dressed in all black clothes. He was tall and slim even though I couldn’t see his face as it was quite dark. I assumed he was also heading home since the footpath that heads to our home is usually used by other people.
When I reached near a small bush which is like 100 meters away from our house, the man ran towards me and held a grip on my hand and threatened to kill me if I dared to scream. He pulled out a small machete hidden in his waist, pointed it at my throat and ordered me to lie on the ground. He then proceeded to do the despicable act despite my numerous pleas for mercy. It was the most intense pain I have ever felt both physically and emotionally. After he was done he left heading towards the restaurant.
I felt dirty, scared and weak. I did not know what to do and who to approach or talk to. The environment both at home and in school were not conducive. My dad being a widower was a drunkard and our teachers in school were harsh and unapproachable. I decided to keep it to myself. No one would ever know what had happened to me.
One month later I found out I was pregnant. I hid it from my teachers and family but they eventually found out as my stomach grew bigger by the day. I had it rough in school. The teachers mocked me, my fellow students mocked me until eventually the head teacher in our school called me and asked me to drop out of school for a while and postpone my education until the time I gave birth. He said there was no way I was going to sit for my final Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination because he had taken my name off the list of those who would sit for it in fear that I would bring bad grades for the school and that I would encourage other female students to get pregnant.
Feeling unwanted, I ran away from home for two weeks to my aunt’s place because the pressure was too much. Even while there, I never disclosed to her that I was raped. I only did this when I got the courage to talk to a Network for Adolescent and of Youth Africa- Kenya (NAYA Kenya) personnel who is a family friend and was interested in my case. He wanted me to go back to school. He was so understanding and promised to help me. I thank the guy who rescued my life after picking up my story and presenting it to the director of education who ordered that I go back to school and assured me that I would sit for my final exam. She also ordered I be taken for antenatal care, counseling and be treated with respect and dignity all the time I was in school.
I am five months pregnant now carrying a child I was not really ready to bring into the world. My dad had a change of heart and offered to take care of the child once I gave birth even though I wish I had a different choice. I do not want to be a mother right now as I am only 15 years old with a lot of goals to achieve in life.
If safe and legal options to end my pregnancy were available then I would have ended my pregnancy long time ago. If there was no shaming of rape victims and women that choose to abort, I would have ended my pregnancy long time ago. If I had information about safe abortion services and where to get help I would have spoken up sooner. If I had information on what to do when sexually abused, I would have taken action.
No girl should have to undergo what I had to go through.