Raped, made pregnant and HIV positive

Date: January 1, 1970
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I am a 14-year-old girl who was detained at Prospect Police Post on the Lusaka-Kabwe Road near Kabwe town for three months before being taken to Mukobeko prison on July 31 2007. While I was there, a police officer rapped me. I now have a child, and am living with HIV.

A friend I knew at school stole some clothes and came to my parents’ house to seek for shelter as she was looking for somewhere to go. She did not tell me that the clothes were stolen and even gave me some to be using.
One day, my mother went to the roadside market where she heard people saying that my friend was been looked for by the police officers because she stole some cloths. My confronted my friend who immediately took off to unknown destination.
My father thought it wise to report the matter to the nearby police station. The officers and the woman’s whose clothes were stolen came to our house, where they found me in one of the tops that my friend gave me. They arrested me and took me to Prospect Police post where I was detained before I was brought to prison.
Despite my parents and me explaining what happened, I was charged with burglary and theft and I was also told that I would be kept in custody until they would find my friend I was alleging to have given me the clothes.
My father tried to sign a bond for me but the police refused.
While in custody, a police officer whom I can identify used to take me to his home at night and repeatedly raped me and threatened to kill me if I had told anyone about what he was doing to me.
The officer would be alone on night duty when the officer-in-charge (OIC) and another night officer travelled out of town.
One day, while the officer was taking me back to my cell from his house, one male detainee saw us and told the officer that he would report him to higher authorities. The police officer pleaded with him not to report the matter but he reported still.
The OIC opened a docket against this officer. I was then moved to Mukobeko prison where I developed strong rash on my face. When I went to the prison clinic, they discovered that I was pregnant and infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STI).
The Prospectus Police post was then sent a letter to the prison authorities requesting them to allow me go to the hospital for a medical check up with the same officer who impregnated me. The hospital tested the officer for HIV and he was positive. I was positive too. The medical results also confirmed that I was raped.
The officer then confessed to my mother that he infected me and that he had sexually abused me. We also learnt that the officer was a widower. The officer was transferred to another station within the province while I have remained here with my problems.
I now have many problems, which may lead me to death for helping a friend whom I thought needed my protection as a friend. The officer took advantage of situation and left with a life-long disease, and a child may be positive too.
* not her real name
This story is part of the I Stories series produced by the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service for the Sixteen Days of Activism on Gender Violence

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