By Akindoyin Aanuoluwapo
When I was young, I was more jovial and I opened up a lot, I expressed myself, my grievances, my joys, my sorrows, my bad times and good times, I spoke out, in fact, I was outspoken and I bared my mind as it was, as a child I was.
But as I grew up, I withdrew from people, but first, I withdrew from my family, none of them knew until today, because I mixed up with them like before, but I never shared with them like before, I crawled into my shell and that was how I began to keep it all as secrets, no matter how burdensome the matter was, I never spoke to them, even to the point of sickness.
How did I get there? My Dad can shout, that his voice is like thunder that strikes during a downpour, at the sound of his whistling whenever he comes back from work, everyone scampers for safety, if he enters and you aren’t busy doing something, it is an offence
We barely got commended, but we often got rebuked at things that we did wrong, things we never did well or things that we almost perfected, we still got rebuked for it all.
At any small or slightest delay, you get a knock on your head or a slap on your face, you must not be slow, everything you need to do must be done hurriedly.
He can crack jokes with outsiders, but whenever he enters the house, he becomes a terror to us children, he always found our fault, he became our fault finder that we never believed we could do anything right.
I remember there were times I tried to joke with my dad, he reminded me whether I was done studying my book, I was sad and terrified that the same man that just joked with an outsider a few minutes ago couldn’t even joke with me or any of my siblings.
My mum was friendly to us, we could joke with her, we could play with her and she was approachable, unlike my dad who wasn’t approachable except when we needed money for things or he was approachable occasionally, maybe on his birthdays, Christmas and New Year or any other day he’s happy.
My mum has a bit different, you can’t confide in her, she’ll still tell my dad and it becomes ‘Isu ata yanyan’ transliterated as ‘yam pepper scatter scatter’. The matter that you said our father should not hear, he is the same person that will settle the matter, with canes (pankere) that will draw different kinds of lane on your body.
There was never a case I told my mum, even after begging her not to tell my dad, she will still tell him and it never ends well after he hears it, so, I lock up.
This is the kind of home I grew up in, this is the African home, this is the kind of home so many people grew up in, some people’s case are more terrifying than mine that they have to keep everything to themselves no matter what happened to them irrespective of what happened to them anywhere in the world.
There was this woman that her video circulated on social media, the young innocent, naive girl of 4 years old was defiled by an adult, but instead of her to take the girl for medical attention, she kept on beating the girl, telling her that she made the man to rape her because she was always going to meet the man that abused her sexually.
My dad has beaten me blue-black for misplacing N20 that I didn’t know the whereabouts and after everything, he gave me paracetamol to subside the body pains, how can I confide in him? When I was having puberty crisis and ladies were flocking around me, my friends were always talking about having sex with this person and with another person, I couldn’t confide in my father because as usual, I will always be guilty, no matter the case, it will end in beating or rains of abuses.
Majority of African parents don’t talk to their children about sex education, and if the children mentions anything about sex, you’re in trouble, in fact if I mention anything sex to my parents, they will think I was already having it and they would never believe whatever I say again about sex, that doesn’t mean they don’t trust me, but mentioning sex was like mentioning a taboo word not meant for a teenager.
Just like the woman blamed her 4 years old daughter for being raped, that’s how many parent would blame their children that have been abused, like, “Why did you go to his house?” “What were you doing in that place?” A lot of questions will be asked which all leads to jumping into conclusion and blaming the victim.
According to research, Rape victims have relationships with the perpetrators and the highest is someone whom the woman is in love with takes 46%, they are victims of date rape and other forms of rape.
Spousal rape is always minimal because they are legally married, but there are some other factors that can make a man rape his wife, alcohol or drug abuse, spousal rape is 9% while rape from strangers is minimal, 4%.
Acquaintance rape is 19%, people who have relationship less intimate than friendship can be victims of rape while well know friend’s rape is 22%
We will get to talk about people who were rape victims and they will share their experiences, and how they overcame the silence.
By Akindoyin Aanuoluwapo