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How to protect yourself from rapists

Two more rape survivors recount their ordeals in our rape series, and paint painful pictures of dehumanisation and destruction.

We also spoke with a counselor and a lawyer on what to do immediately rape is committed…

‘I was raped by a cousin when I was six’ -M.O

I was raped by a cousin when I was six. Now, I suffer from fistula. I left school when I was 11. I am learning how to make clothes (fashion) now.

I was six when it happened and living in Benue state, in the North Central region of the country.

One day, I returned from school with three friends. Before then, a 17-year-old male cousin had been harassing me. That night, he brought four other men to the house. I cannot remember vividly how it all happened.

The next thing I can remember was  waking up in the hospital the following day, and being told what had happened.

All of the girls with me were also raped, possibly multiple times by more than one of the attackers, but, I am not too sure how many times  because I fainted. One of my friends did not survive; another died last year as a result of the injuries she sustained that night. I and one other girl are now the only survivors.

I had to leave school because of the fistula that developed resulting from the attack. Doctors said I am too young to undergo the restorative surgery known as VVF. I cannot afford adult diapers, I have to rely on cloth to soak up the waste that leaks.

‘He raped me in his car and then dropped me in front of a church’ -N.A

I have sickle cell disease and a bad hip. The man didn’t even pity my medical and physical status. I was on my way to a job interview in March when I asked a man for directions. It was obvious that I was clearly in pain and limping. I thought that was what made the man urge me to allow him, drive me to where I was going. He explained that there was barely any public transportation in the neighbourhood and he could see that I was having difficulty walking.

He drove me to a secluded area. He started threatening me and beating me. He raped me in his car and then dropped me in front of a church. From there, I found my way to where I was to be interviewed. But, once inside, I couldn’t hold myself, I broke down. The owner of the company took me to where I could get help.

I pressed charges but my attacker, who was a serial rapist, had disappeared. His people showed up one day begging me to drop the charges and offering me financial compensation for doing so.

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