The night turned out to be louder than I had anticipated and i decided and I decided to leave early. I was already really tired from work and I had downed one to come along. Not long after, a car came along and I waved it down and I entered and gave the driver my address. I was almost when I realized the car was going a different route. At that point I became fully awake and shouted at the driver to stop but he wouldn’t. I tried the doors, but they were locked and I couldn’t get them open. I was thrown back against the seat as the car suddenly came to stop. The driver came round and opened the door and preceded to drag me out, it was at that point I got a first good look at his face, I struggled, heaven knows I did but the last thing I remembered was crying out and hearing a resounding noise in my ears, as his hands made contact with my face.
I guess he must have knocked me unconscious and proceeded to rape me because when I woke, I was lying I the bushes, blood dripping from my nose with every part of my body aching and feeling like my head was about to split into many different piece with the slightest movement. My clothes were all torn and bloody. I tried to get up but for the life of me I couldn’t move. Crying out, I must have passed out again because the next thing knew I was jarred awake by the vibration underneath me. It was my phone, apparently the man who had robbed, beaten and raped me had for whatever reason left my phone behind. I answered the call, it was my house mate. Sobbing I told her some of what had transpired and she came to get me.
For days after that, I couldn’t leave the house. I couldn’t let any man near me, not even my fiancé. I broke off my engagement. My housemate tried to get me to the hospital to seek medical attention, and the police to make complaint but try as she did, I refused to go. What would people say? How would people look at me? , Ours was a small community, my parents were actively involved in our church. Everybody knew everybody. My reputation would be ruined. I’d always be known as the unfortunate girl who was raped. I wouldn’t be able to stand the pitying looks, my fiancé family would think I was no longer good enough for them. No, nobody could know. I made her swear never to tell anybody. I cleaned myself up and re-entered the world, thinking life would go on as before.
Alas, this was not to be. A few weeks after the incident, I had a flu-like illness for which I took some medications and I felt better. Life continued, but I was a shadow of myself. Thankfully I didn’t get pregnant. Nothing was the same anymore. But I didn’t even know how much things had changed, until about a year later when I had only just began to get over it, I became ill and my symptoms wouldn’t go away, even after I had treated for malaria several times. I finally decided to go to the hospital to see a doctor. That was the day my world came crashing down on me. I had a test done which came back positive for HIV.
That was six years ago. Today I have full blown AIDS and now I wish I had said something, I wish I had not let the fear of being stigmatized stop me from crying out and reaching for help. Maybe today I wouldn’t be here; maybe my life would be so much different. But no matter how I wished it, I allowed what people think will stop me from reaching out. What was even worse was the doctor telling me that the acquiring of HIV after the incident could have been prevented, if only I had commenced what he called the POST EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS. If only…’’
It was almost midnight as I left her bedside and returned to my quarters that night. My heart was heavy was heavy, tears flowing freely down my face. What a story, so sad. So many things she’ll never get a chance at. And it all could just as easily have been prevented is she had only sought medical help immediately after the incident. As I entered my room that night I knew I had a big task ahead of me. I resolved there and then that my first mission in saving lives would be to educate the world about post exposure prophylaxis following such an ugly devil as rape. As well as the need for friends, family and neighbors to show love and support every rape victim. Its something that no one should ever have to go through, but God forbid that someone should fall a victim of it, it doesn’t have to rule over that life.
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