A few weeks ago, I published a piece in the Huffington Post, "It's OK to Beat Her, Just Don't Kill Her," which described the male dominated society in rural Tanzania and how men believe it is their duty to discipline their wives by beating them. I also described efforts to provide counseling to these victims. It's one thing to read about these horrific events in the abstract, but quite another to be confronted with an actual person's experience. What follows is the story of one of these victims as told to a counselor. I've corrected the spelling, but left the grammar as it was told.
I am 24 years lady. I have one child boy, who is now in standard one school (Author's note, high school). I am not married and I am a single parent to my son.
My child is on school so I have to make sure I work hard. I was employed at one restaurant in town, where I was paid 40,000 Tanzanian shillings per month (Author's note, about $25), but according to nature of the work, I have to travel about 5 km to from where I live. And I always get off the job late night. One busy day at work, I get off at 10 PM. And on my way home, I met a group of four men who asked me to stop, but fearly I didn't and one of them followed me closer and slipped me down, and they raped me, they tied me and tightly shut my mouth, and they did all that they wished to. And I got lost of my memory, and they left me to midnight when I wake up with painful, and remembering my son at home, at least he was taken care by neighbors.
I wake up and slowly to my home with lots of pain, and didn't know what to do, crying day and night to what happened to me. Just to take some pain killers, I didn't go to the medical services, I felt very shame to all what happened. I was not able to go for work again, I stayed home the whole month, where I decided to take my son home to my mother. I didn't even tell my mother, three month passed is when I realized that am pregnancy, a rape pregnancy. It is a real pain in my heart, is when I decided to tell one of the church leader, who tried to comfort me. One of my neighbor told me about the group of women who are helpless, but I found the group with the counseling and am so glad for how they handled me.
I now start to recover as am attending the counseling with the Lady from the organization, it is very difficult situation to me on how I can face the baby but God knows why all this happened to me.
I am glady that the NGO is going to help us have an activities which will help me with my family as I don't have any income activities.