Mauritius: Raped by my step father

Date: October 9, 2019
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My name is Vanessa. My father and my mother lived together but my father was beating my mother all the time. We stayed in the house of my father in Vacoas. When we were sleeping at night he would fire to the mattress. My mother finally left him and we rented a house. Even then he came and stayed with us and bought a television set. One day we went out, my mother and myself. When we came back the house was burnt completely. My father put the house to fire. My mother used to work as a cleaner in an office. We went to stay in the office. The police went to look for my father. But he committed suicide. My mother got a house to rent. We went to stay there and my mother met a man who came to stay worth us. My stepfather used to beast me a lot.

I went through lots of sufferings. He even threatened me and put a knife near my throat. He used to beat my mother as well. I went to school up to Form III and had lots of problems. My mother had to undergo an operation and I had to leave school and go to work and looked after my little sister at the same time.  Even then my stepfather used to beat me until one day the Child Development Unit came for me and put me in a shelter. I stayed there for two years and then came out and went to say with my mother. The situation did not change and I went to say with my grandmother where I encountered lots of problems. I then went to say with my godmother. One day my mother came to look for me. I went back with my mother and started to work in a restaurant. My stepfather was beating me so much that I left the house and went to stay with a friend.

One day my brother came to see me to tell me that he too was having problems with my stepfather. He was staying in a house and asked me to come and stay with him. I was then 18 years old. I met my husband. Love was strong and I did not have any problems in our rented house until I fell pregnant and went to stay with his mother. Everything went on well but his mother enjoyed beating me. She was beating me really badly. She used to beat her daughter in laws a lot and even more when she was drinking. On the verge of giving birth to my baby it was raining heavily. I telephoned my mother who came for me. I gave birth the next day. I talked to my husband and told him that I did not want to return to my mother in law and to rent a house. He said and everything went fine until I was pregnant with my second child. My miseries started. My husband would bring friends in the house, they drank and smoke. I did not have my words and he started to have mistresses. At the beginning I did not know but I knew from his telephone.

When I told him he started beating me. One day my brother in law had to protect me from the beating. The woman she was having an affair with was staying with us, in the same house. I could not say anything. I did not have anything to eat while the other woman was eating. I used to go and get some food from my friends. One day I started to have contraction pains. He told me to sort out myself. I remained with my pains until the next morning. He did not take me to the hospital. He asked the daughter of his friend to take me to the hospital and he did not even come to visit. I saw him after visiting time and he only brought a packet of nappies for the baby. From the hospital I went home. When I told the other woman to leave she started beating me. My sister in law advised me to go to a shelter but I refused and went to stay with my mother. He came to look for me. My mother beat him and told him that I have two children and she was looking after us. My mother warned me but I disobeyed and went back to my husband. He started mistreating me again and I had to lend money so that I could buy mild for the baby. He stopped me from going to work.

My situation became worse when I was getting a pension. The landlord chuck us out of the house. My husband took the children to his mother’s place. I stayed on the streets for two months. In 2015 for the elections a woman called Pascal asked me to work for her for the elections. I agreed and there was another woman called Vilasha. I told Vilasha my story and she told Pascal. It was then agreed that I would stay with Vilasha. I stayed with her for one month. Pascal and Vilasha helped me to build a house on a piece of land near them. I am staying in the house with my husband and my children. These two women really helped me. But my husband still beat me and said that I am going out with men. I was so upset that I told him he was right. He is quiet at the moment.

I forgot to say that my step father wanted to rape me. My mother blamed me as I put a case against him. I am happy that he has been sued. I have more confidence in myself. I know I will go further. I would like to become a seamstress.