Zimbabwe: Raped by my cousin brother and rejected by relatives

Date: October 9, 2019
  • SHARE:

My name is Nyasha*I am the third child in a family of five children where only one is male. My biological parents passed on when I was still young and that led the five of us to be placed under the guardianships of our different relatives. I was placed under the care of my uncle, Takundwa* and aunt, Ruvarashe*.  My uncle and aunt took me grudgingly and that was evidenced by how they both ill-treated me. They were both peasant farmers and to have an extra mouth to feed proved a burden to them. Though Takundwa* and Ruvarashe* told me that they could not afford to pay for my school fees their own children kept going.  

Takundwa* and Ruvarashe* had three sons.  I would do the all the household chores which included laundry for my cousin brothers, cooking, cleaning the homestead as well as some field work. If I ever complained or took long to accomplish any given task, I would get a thorough beating from either Takundwa* or Ruvarashe*. My cousin brothers insulted me saying that it was my way of repaying their parents for having me in their home. I then got used to do everything quietly and as fast as I could.    

The eldest of my cousin brothers, Delight*, at times assisted me in doing some of the assigned chores. I had much faith in him such that I shared nearly everything with him and he in turn shared his secrets with me. One fateful day Delight* and I were eating roasted nuts in one of the huts and he suddenly sprang to me and raped me once. I cried bitterly because I did not even suspect that he would harbour such a devious plan of raping me. I told Takundwa* and Ruvarashe* as soon as they came back home. I was surprised to be blamed as the one who had lured Delight* to have sex with me. They did not believe me at all and they even said that it was not rape but consensual sex. Ruvarashe* started calling me names and scolding me with unprintable words. Takundwa* even threatened to beat me up if l ever entertained the thought of telling anyone or with unspecified action if l reported it to the law enforcement agents.  

Delight* then made it a habit of raping me whenever he wanted especially during the night he would sneak into my room and have unprotected sex with me. He even threatened me with death because he always moved around with a knife. I had nowhere to go to and no one to turn to. After some time one of our neighbours suspected that I was pregnant. At first I denied ever having sex with anyone but after assuring me that she would not say anything to anyone I spilled the beans.  

The neighbour made an anonymous report to the police. The law enforcement agents paid us some visits and I was taken to hospital for medical examination. The doctors confirmed that I was five months pregnant. Delight* was subsequently arrested and I was immediately taken in by Msasa Shelter. Takundwa* declared that I should not have anything to do with his family since I had implicated his son for a crime he had not committed.  

The Msasa Shelter authorities tried to get my pregnancy terminated but that hit a brick wall because of the advanced stages of my pregnancy. I was only fifteen years by then. I now have a two year old baby but my main worry is if my would be husband would believe my sad story.