Lesotho: It is over, new beginning…

Date: September 9, 2014
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My name is Tommy and I live at Bobete in the district of Leribe. I am a 45 year old man and I live with my wife and our three children. When I was a young boy my father used to beat up my mother in front of us and as a boy I thought that was how women were supposed to be treated and I told myself that I would treat women just like my father treated my mother.
I grew up with those emotions and I did not even want to look at women of any kind. My father would beat up my mother every day and sometimes he would just beat her up as though she was not a normal person. My hatred of women became so deep that I could not stand women, I wanted revenge. I would want to help my mother but I could not because I did not want to sound as though I did not respect my father, though I did not like what he was doing to my mother.
One day he came home very drunk and he found us sitting together and he could not wait to insult my mother and beat her up. I did not know how it happened, but I got off my seat and stood up where I was and hit him and he felt down. My mother did not believe I had actually done that, but I thought I had to; I was really tired of my father’s behaviour towards my mother, especially in front of us. My father could not breathe and he was unconscious swimming in a pool of blood. I think it was the hard material I used to hit him. It was bad, but I felt good because I thought he deserved it. I think I did not see that one coming.
Everybody was crying except me, it was hectic in the house and I felt more hatred towards him, especially when I saw that everybody was crying. I did not understand why they were crying, especially my mother because I did that to protect her. We waited there without talking to one another while waiting for the car to take him to the hospital. My mother was not talking to me; she was just looking at me. I did not understand why my mother was acting in that way.
Finally the car arrived and we took him to the hospital, but unfortunately we did not even make it to the hospital because he passed on while we were still on the way. It was such a hard time, but still I did not feel bad about what I had done, I just told myself that he deserved it. My mother was very angry at me, but she did not say anything and I did not know why she was angry as I had done that to protect her.
I grew up hating all women of any kind. I did not want anything to do with women and one day I saw a girl and I just felt that hatred and I felt like hurting her at that particular moment and finally I asked her to wait for me, but she refused. I did not take that very well, I became very angry and I wanted to hurt her immediately. I asked her again to wait and this time she did not reply she just ran away. I ran after her and I caught her. I was very angry when I got to her not because she did not wait for me, but because she was a woman. I could not ask her anything, I just put her down and raped her, she was crying and I nearly felt mercy for her, but it was the same cry as my mother used to have and then I remembered that all women deserved that.
Nobody was arrested because that girl did not know me and I went on with my life, I kept on raping women without being arrested. I really enjoyed hurting women because that was the way I was raised, and I did not have mercy on them, I wanted just to hurt them. One day I saw two women walking and they seemed very happy, they were laughing and talking. I really did not like that, especially because they were women, I thought of anything that would hurt, and I just told myself that I had to hurt them. I went straight to them, I did not even cover my face, I beat the one to death and the other one wanted to run away, but I would not let her. I pulled her down and raped her.
I stood there for a while watching those beautiful women sleeping there helplessly, they did not do anything, but they were just sleeping and crying and for a moment I thought of my mother. I felt like crying and that was not how I used to feel after seeing women, but I felt angry and I sat next to them and cried, after a long time thinking I handed myself over to the police. The women did not deserve it, nobody deserves that. I was charged with rape and stayed in prison for ten years. I regret what I did to all the women and I have asked for their forgiveness and I hope one day they will find it in their hearts to forgive me. I am a changed man and I am trying to prove to my community that I have changed.
This story is part of the “I” Stories series produced by the Gender Links encouraging the view that speaking out can set you free.

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