Mirabel News Oct. 2013: Victims’ Experience

Child Abuse: Detection And Prevention Strategies In The Home
Child Abuse: Detection And Prevention Strategies In The Home

024 – She is a 20 year old 1st class graduate of a Nigerian private university. One fateful day she was going to a friend’s mother’s birthday party when this school mate of hers whom she knew just in passing, came up to her and asked where she was going. She told him admitting to him that she didn’t really know the area well. He promised to drop her off but that he would need to pick up something on the way. She agreed and got into the car and he drove to a quiet neighborhood, parked the car and raped her. When he was done, he dropped her off on a major road. 024 began to seek counseling at the Mirabel center about a month after the incident but it has not been an easy journey for her as she battles with the dilemma of wanting to totally forget all that happened and the need to seek proper regular counseling at the center. This however is expected at this stage of her recovery and we understand and respect the client’s wishes and just follow at whatever pace she sets.

062 – He gave her a fake name when they met and he appeared to be the most polite and courteous gentleman she ever met, and so it was easy for her to agree for him to pick her up from work for an outing, but nothing prepared her for the beating of her life and most dehumanizing experience she got form this new acquaintance of hers. When they were done from the fast-food joint, he told her that he wanted to see someone but she refused, insisting that she didn’t want to stay out late. He promised that they were not even going to get out of the car. They got to a quiet street in the GRA and he started to beat her, punching her and hitting her head against the car. He threatened to stab her to death and it seemed like the more she begged the more infuriated he got. He forced her to keep kissing him while he raped her vaginally. He did not stop there. He also raped her anally.

By the time 062 accessed the services of the center, she was afraid of her own shadow, afraid of any car with the same color to that of the perpetrator and afraid of the dark

008 – For 14yrs old Bukky (name changed), life in the slum is all she has ever known and it was very normal for her to move out of their 1room home at
about 8pm at night to go ease herself. There was no light around the bush behind their home and there was no way she could tell that their neighbor, married with 2 wives, was following her. He grabbed her pushed her to the dirt ground and threatened to kill her if she shouted. He raped her. She cried out but nobody heard and he covered her mouth. When she got back into the house and realized she was bleeding so much, she told her mother who then raised an alarm, went to the grab the perpetrator but he pushed her away and ran. She was bleeding so much due to cervical laceration that the first two hospitals she was taken to rejected her, but she was taken to Island Hospital, Lagos where a cervical repair was done. She was able to access support at the Mirabel center and was also referred to partner agencies that were of tremendous help to her. Young Bukky’s wish, more than anything else, is for her mother to have gainful employment so she can provide a better livelihood for them. Bukky has come back to the centre for follow-up and she is much better, more cheerful than she was the first time she stepped into the center.

002 – She is a secondary school girl who went to her friend to borrow a text book but was invited into the house by her friend’s older  brother.  He offered her a drink, after which she slept off only to wake up and find someone on top of her. She struggled to fight him off but he was much stronger and he raped her.

She came to the center feeling so much shame and blamed herself for what happened. Her mother also blamed her and was concerned that she is no longer a virgin. The client was made to understand that it was not her fault but the fault of the perpetrator who took advantage of her and committed the offence.

There was also the need to educate the caregiver about the myths surrounding virginity as well as what effects blaming the child could have on the child’s mental recovery. It was a joy to know after a few months of counseling that client was feeling better, happier and would in fact call the center from time to time to greet her counselor and give her an update on her life as well as school work.