by Adeboro Odunlami
Some people are not good oh!
1. The ”you must have caused it sha” reaction.
I would never forget the cracked frame of GEJ hanging on the wall behind the desk of the first woman I told about my 7 rape disasters. I remember it because I stared at the crack as she spoke to me. I had poured out my heart out to her and all she could say was, ‘’Hmm… That is actually a big deal. But if I were to be honest with you, I would say you were largely responsible.”
She continued, ”Yes. I was doing a study of reported rape incidences on my street. Do you know my studies showed me that although first-time female rape victims are usually not responsible for their attack, subsequent rape attacks are a product of their own carelessness, insensitivity, non-alertness, heedlessness, and I daresay, sexual waywardness. Some girls actually call for rape. With everything that they do. You should hear some girls talking to boys, brazenly calling for rape, teasing the boys with every word they say, every move of their bodies, why won’t they?…’’
All the big grammar even made it worse. It felt like she was giving me a certificate in ’BSc Injudiciousness’
I just stared at my friend the cracked frame. Only the crack could understand how my heart was splitting.
2. The “what were you wearing?” reaction.
Another time, I approached one of my motherly female lecturers who announced in class that she was passionate about the girl child and female gender (Na so.)
She said girls in the class could come to her and talk about anything. Me sef, I carried my legs there.
When I was done, she said, ‘’I am so sorry for everything that happened to you. It’s sad that boys are not raised to be men. But you know, I have found that no matter how well one raises men, they are still moved by what they see.’’ Then she paused and took off her glasses. ‘’I would ask just one question, okay? What were you wearing when these rape incidences occurred?”
(You just had to go there madam!!!)
But a beggar has no choice na. So I closed my eyes and said:
‘’Erm, okay. The first time, I was naked because the person who raped me was my uncle who was helping me take a bath. I was just 5 years old. The second time was in primary 5. I was wearing only pants because the person who raped me was my class teacher. The third time, I was wearing my night dress spending the night with my boyfriend. I was 17. The fourth time I was dressed in a gown, waiting in my friend’s house to attend a party. Her brother did it. The fifth time, it was my mother’s husband and I was walking around the house in my towel. The sixth and seventh times, I was fully dressed- but my mother’s husband still raped me.”
At this point I was struggling not to throw myself on the ground and bawl. And I was thinking,
She sighed and queried triumphantly, ”Do you see what I mean?”
3. The God punish you reaction
The only friend I really ever had was the one whose brother raped me. When I got to school the next day and scanned the assembly gathering for her to disclose what happened and enjoy some sympathy I felt someone tap me on the back.
”Why did you leave the house before I got back?”
‘Yes… Itunu. I…’
”You know what? I’ll save you the stress. Jide had that look on his face. The one he has when those girls come over and I’m hearing their noise from the parlor. So this is who you are? So you betrayed me and went to sleep with my brother. What’s wrong with you sef? Is this what you call friendship? You know what, if you’re not lying about all those your rape rape stories, then I’m happy they happened to you. Yes!’’ She spat.
I stood there and just died.
4. The ’Lie Lie’ Reaction
‘You are lying’, said my mother. My own mother.