Day 7 : #SayNoToRape Why didn’t you tell anybody?Why didn’t you run?If it was me, I would have slapped him. All these words kept hitting me from all angles, I wanted to scream.I was the one that was affected, yet no one cared to know if I was fine.I could silently hear them hinting that I should just have kept it all to myself.I could hear myself on the inside saying over and over’I am the victim here’But as usual I sucked it all in.If you are reading this, don’t judge me.I kept it all because I was raised to respect the eldersI was raised to recognize that the elders are never wrongI was raised to never correct their wrongI was raised to accept their wrong as rightI was raised to be seen and not heardI was raised to never have an opinion.Is it a culture attributed to only Africa or Nigerians?I cannot tell.So I am forced to keep mum and I did for 10 years.I was taught that sex was a sinI was taught never to look at a man.I was taught to submit like a woman so that I would find a good manBut alas my sex organ were awokenA little touch on my buttA little squeeze on my breast.And then it became agressive…All the while I was in shock…He is a father figure.His love for me is just like that of my dad’sOr maybe it was a mistake, and he didn’t mean it.But is it not without my consent?No it is wrong, but who do I tell?I have reached the age of puberty, so maybe my mind is playing tricksOr maybe my hungry desire to have a boyfriend is causing me to think thusAnd so the mind game went.My sister lay beside me one day and I whispered… “he touches me in a funny way”.”He plays with my thing in a funny way. I bled today”A hot slap and a warning to never repeat suchSo I became mute.I learnt the opposite sex, my peers, my seniors, my fathers: all love me.Some want more but I cannot commit.Confidants, best friends, bread giversBut I cannot commit.I lost the power to love when he toyed with my genitalsStill I had principles…sounds impossible but it is true.Despite the foreplay, my virginity remained sealedThat’s the rule at home.I cannot be the exception.So even though I am chaste, I am not.God hates such and so in fear I trembled any time the males came closeA kiss and straight to the priest I goI must confess lest I rot in hell.They knew my life story…he did tooAnd so he waited till the time was right.He took me and I refusedHe took me and I screamedHe took me and I was nakedHe too me and it was not with my consent.He took me and I was voilatedHe took me and I am no more a childThe act is done.I don’t need to add by forceBut this time I speak up.The human spirit was made to thriveSo I speak uponly this time I am lashingI am angryAll I was taught was faultyI drove prospects and invited suspectsI speak up and I find only hateI speak up and still I cannot commitThe wound is deepThe scars have refused to heal.I am not more a child, even at 25.In my community he goes unpunishedBut there is too much anger in meBut who do I blame?My family, my community, or my religion?All summoned me to keep shut.I am a bitter leaf, but who do I blame? I shared it with a friend, who tells a friend of a friendAnd like wildfire everyone knows.And once again I am at fault.So I sit here quietlyQuietly wondering what my offense is.Their voices begin to drown out my thoughtsBut not before I asked myself.”Do you want my younger ones to go through this?”Hell no!The silence is overI will say no to RAPE! Tope Olofinwww.toperants.com@toperantsKindly subscribe to this blog via mail for easy sharing. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding.