Silent lips have stories to tell too.

As one of the ways to find healing and strength in my past, I have decided to share my near rape experience.

Some years ago, I was on five months internship with a media house in one of the popular southwest cities. Aside from being the only female there at that time, I was also the youngest, to my surprise.

So it happened that my office was about five streets away from where I reside and I had this neighbor who stays in the same compound with me. It was obvious to everyone in the compound that he liked me, his attraction to me was duly noticed by my sister and her husband, who were the family I was staying with.
In all honesty, I would have dated him but for some attitudes in him I couldn’t put up with and since my office wasn’t too far from home, it was easy for him to locate it without my permission and direction.

One afternoon, he turned up at my office unannounced.
It was like some devilish fortune was on his side because all of my colleagues and team leaders had assignments to attend to and were not present in the office at that hour, even my partner who was also an Industrial Trainee unexpectedly got called to go for an assignment and so I was left all alone!

I heard a knock on the door at the reception and the door at the reception has a burglary door that allows whoever is inside to lock him/herself in, and when I am alone, I leave the door open because it is an office but I don’t know why I decided to do so that afternoon.

I went to the door thinking it was my partner or one of my bosses who was back from their assignment but lo and behold it was this guy who liked me from home. I was shocked to see him but I quickly concealed my surprise and opened the door to allow him access into the reception.

We sat down and I inquired how he got to know where I worked and what he was doing here and he said he came to see me and I was shocked "Like you came to see me at work? Are you out of your mind or something?" He said he has always wanted to surprise me with a visit and was waiting for the right moment. This statement made me edgy but I didn’t want to be rude.

But the next thing he did confirmed my fear. He started pulling the gown that I wore and since we were in a  sitting position, we were close to each other. “Guy, what’s up, you’re pulling my dress?"I asked him, thinking it was a mistake or something.

He composed himself and apologized, and we continued our conversation but along the way he edged closer and the bells in my head started ringing. I maintained my cool and shunned my instincts, maybe I should have politely end the conversation, but I was a polite young woman and I tend to give people the benefit of doubt.

He pulled my dress again, and I realized his true intention. He gave up any modicum of reservation and we started to wrestle for dominance for several minutes and all the while I was praying that one of my team leaders or colleagues will show up because they definitely would have taken it up against him as they all treated me like their baby girl back then.

With all the strength in me, I managed to push him out of the reception and locked myself in all the while panting and gasping for breath. Till today, it seems surreal to my imagination.

And to my surprise he started to beg, asking me to open the door, saying he can explain and that it was the devil. Sure the devil it was but I won’t dare open this door again until one of my team member gets back.
Even after they all got back, I still felt very jittery around them and couldn’t trust any male presence around me at that moment.

When I got home that night, I told no one, not my cousin, her husband, or anyone until a few months ago when many rape cases surfaced and some of the victims were blamed for it.

And he didn't stop there. He called me on phone several times but I didn’t pick up and then he later sent texts giving me the same devilish story they are all used to giving and blaming it on my body structure saying: “I had this irresistible body, I was his future wife, it has been revealed to him, he did that so he could lay a claim on me and bring the prophecy to life and prove his “undying love” to me”. Sure, I forgave him but made sure we were never left alone not even for a minute. And few years later we lost contact completely.

Did I mention that when this happened, he was training to be an evangelist or a prophet, and the church he was training under was constantly holding services in our compound every day? Well, I can't put the blame of his actions on the Church or its members, but I was surprised.

I am sharing this story so those blaming the victims can understand that it could be anywhere, at any time, and anyone!
And women who share their stories shouldn’t be stigmatized or always blamed for the incident.

©Opeyemi Lawal.

9 Comments

  1. Indeed.
    In Life, everybody has a story to tell, it is just on the tip of our tongue waiting to spoken to the hearing of mankind, but to share it most times, courage is needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I have people like you who are willing to listen without judgment.

      Delete
  2. Hmmmm... May the Lord continue to guide us

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmm this is deep, thanks for sharing this with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also glad you're here to listen. Thank you!

      Delete
  4. Hmm this is deep, thanks for sharing this with us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow!!!

    Thanks for sharing

    Learned a few lessons


    Sometimes out benefits of doubt gets betrayed, we have to learn to follow our intuition


    Thanmsope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found it interesting.
      Thanks for reading.

      Delete

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