The anguish of rape by acquaintance

Unspeakable: Rape by acquaintance is on the rise
Unspeakable: Rape by acquaintance is on the rise

Everyone thinks they can understand the agony of rape. But what happens when a woman is raped by someone she knows? Two women narrate their horrifying tale to Staff Writer, MPHO MOKWAPE, of incidents that happened in the last two weeks

*Elise Boikobo

“People may often talk about rape, but we may never understand. Only people who have been through the ordeal can know and understand what it is.

I knew this person.  I was used to him he was literally like a friend to me if not a brother. Not in a million years had the thought of him doing something so despicable to me cross my mind. Those were the things I only saw in movies, so unreal like a nightmare.


I was used to going to his place so a lot of people knew that and we were just friends until that fateful day.

It was early in the morning and I woke up feeling really hungry.  I needed something to eat. I went to a nearby tuckshop just so I could get something and on my way there I found it closed.

Returning was a mission and a half and luckily I ran into him along the way and as we were exchanging pleasantries it so happens that I mentioned how hungry I was.  He offered me food at his place.

“I didn’t even hesitate.  Here was someone I knew offering to rescue me from a terrible hunger and would I have refused? No… he was not a stranger.”

Would you report someone who has just offered you food and whose house you willingly agreed to go to, would you? (Pauses). Just think of the shame and the ridicule I was going to face.  School was never going to be the same.  Imagine the everyday stares and gossip. This is the reason why I say you will never get it unless you have been through it.

Again it was so early in the morning, it would sound so unusual that I was raped at someone’s place so early and wonder what I was doing there at that time.

He offered me food as promised.   I ate the food.  While I was about to leave after finishing he blocked my way. 

Initially I thought he was just being silly until he became a little aggressive with me.  He pushed me to the bed and started undressing me.  All the while I knew what was about to happen.  I immediately blocked the whole thing out.

To this day I hardly talk about it, it keeps coming back to haunt me.  The memories are still so vivid.  Sometimes I even fail to breath. I never sought any medical help.  I only went to Tebelopele. I wish I could have reacted differently, but it’s too late now.  There is no use.  Let’s forget about it.”

 

*Tebo Moaga

“When you rent a place, what you seek most is security and it is not often that you think you can be raped in your own surroundings.

What started as a wine tasting turned into a nightmare that I often wish I could wake up from.  But then again it is not a nightmare it is a reality that I have to live with for the rest of my life.  To even think he will never go behind bars because I let him be is even sickening.

I do not drink alcohol and I was not about to start.  What happened on that fateful night will remain a mystery to me. A few sips of the wine in a glass marked the end of what seemed like a perfect life for me.

Next thing I wake up in this man’s house striped naked.  I started wondering how I got there because the last thing I remember we were in my house, which I rented from him.

He was my landlord and he lived in the main house.  He was a nice guy, or so I thought.  He turned out to be a monster and I did not even have the courage to report him.

First my parents didn’t want me renting there and I assured them it was safe.  I couldn’t stomach the ‘I told you sos’ and secondly I could not explain why I had to drink that wine when I didn’t drink at all.  There was the man who dehumanised me acting all cool like nothing ever happened.

 

What do you say to a person who is like that?

 I moved out, took my stuff and left, but the horror of that day still follows me around.  Sometimes I find myself in this dark hole that I cannot get out of, and I become so numb that I feel like the walls are closing in on me.  I do not know where to begin and where to go. I am just helpless and I feel so alone. I may tell you my ordeal, but you will never understand. Never…” *Names changed

Editor's Comment
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Nowadays it is not uncommon to purchase an item for a certain commodity and return to the shops in a week, to find the same item has gone up by a significant amount of money.Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) last week announced yet another fuel price increase, which follows yet another increase that came into effect on March 29. Hardly two months later on May 12 boom, BERA announced yet another increase, which came into effect at a...

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