I received a letter from someone sometime back, a letter that brought mixed emotions to the surface. Words like “bitter sweet, sad, heartbroken, harsh reality, anger and sorrow” came to mind. Bitter sweet because someone had been living in anguish for years on end, after a gross violation of her human rights transpired,yet she felt she could reach out to me, and took a bold step sharing a very painful unimaginable intimate matter with me and even went further to want to help others by allowing her story to be shared, and breaking the silence!

Miss E, I know you are reading this. Thank you for sharing your story with Vunjakimya after suffering in silence for decades. I know your story will open the door for many others in the same boat to speak out about their ordeal and start their journey to healing and restoration. I am very proud of you.

Dear Dr. Kizzie,

I have been reading and following vunjakimya, it has encouraged me that someone cares about those of us who have been hurt deep deep within us through acts that people take to be just physical. I want to tell you my story, at least part of it. At the time of this event, it was taboo to mention such, no one would have cared or believed, it had to be the girl’s fault, I had to bottle it and live in subdued torment. I welcome ‘breaking the silence’.

Many years ago, when ladies were just getting into the professions, I had a horrible encounter that shaped my life for decades before I could put it behind me and move on.

We had just joined the Nairobi University, I was a Pharmacy student, excited at the prospect of acquiring a degree, and bringing change to my home and village. Those days, literally the whole village sent us off for higher learning. Campus was different from anything else we ‘village girls’ knew, lots of ‘jet set’ students and visitors in the dorms, as well as in the lecture halls and corridors, along with the new experience of the city. My friends and I had decided to be ‘clean’ girls, and not to get caught up in any ‘unclean’ activities. We enjoyed going to the movies and sight seeing.

On this particular day, a Friday, one of my not-so-close friends, insisted on taking me with her to a party. I could not shake her off and ended up joining her, in the absence of my regular friends. I still remember how I was dressed that day, in a beautiful light blue dress and off-white shoes that my parents had sacrificed to buy for me. I can now see how naïve and innocent I must have looked to the hyenas that were present, ready to ‘hunt’ and catch prey.

I remember entering the house party hall and standing close to the door. I reminded the lady that I was a soft drinks person which she had said was okay, we were to be there for about one to two hours, it was 7.30pm when we arrived. I remember being given a tall beautiful looking glass of cold Coke which I received and took a few sips. The next thing I remember is waking up in a strange bed, totally naked, with a strange man by my side.

My senses unreeled like a horror movie from hell. I could not fathom what had happened. I had never seen this person before. He seemed to think I would be happy to wake up there. I could have died right there and then of shock and disgust once I realized the implications of the scenario, and began to feel the aches and pains all over my body. I was plunged into total darkness when I saw that it was morning, I had lost a whole night, to strangers.

To add to my anguish, I got to know he was a third year university student, apparently a well set one financially, he even sported a car which was extremely rare those days. It was totally unfathomable to me that he could have done this to me. Totally unbelievable and shocking to me was the realization that I was in the male hostels, right in the middle of campus. I could not leave without being seen. He had a big big room all to himself. He expected me to stay and did not have an iota of remorse. I was an emotional mess.

As I write to you Doctor, now is when am thinking, I didn’t then, and never have, of the lady who set me up. I don’t believe I sought her out after that. I was too overcome by what had happened to me. Now is when am thinking I don’t know how many of them eehh, I think this is the first time I am actually looking squarely at this event that occurred over 25years ago, and for the first time I will now attempt to put down on paper what happened. Here goes:

I WAS GIVEN A SPIKED DRINK

I WAS DRUGGED

I WAS RAPED, MOST PROBABLY GANG RAPED

I WAS EMOTIONALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY TORMENTED FOR YEARS

There. I have done it.

I just thought I should write this down for you, it seems I have benefitted more by doing so. Please feel free to share with your readers the full article, it will help someone who has been locked up like me.

I pray God helps you to continue helping many wounded. Thank you.

Miss E.

One wonders how so many unfortunate events can occur in one night to one person, the harsh reality of the betrayal by a fellow female “friend” AND being drugged AND raped AND not receiving justice AND reliving the traumatic experience over and over and over again for decades.

Learning Points:

  1. WATCH YOUR DRINKS PEOPLE!!

This does not in any way imply the victim is to blame. However;

    • Avoid leaving drinks unattended
    • Keep your drink on you at all times
    • If you must leave your drink, when you return order another. Don’t drink what you left behind
    • I am a strong believer in informing someone where you are and with whom just in case anything happens (not necessarily rape)
  1. FEMALES ARE NOT NECESSARILY SAFE!
    • Many have this perception that if they are around females all is well. Please do not fall prey to this fallacy. Just because someone smiles at you and is nice doesn’t make them your friend and young people take a long time to learn this. If the deal is too good to be true, think again. Exercise caution!
  1. SPEAK OUT!
    • A hard as this may be, I urge any victims or anyone who suspects rape has occurred to immediately (or as soon as possible) seek medical attention for purposes of STI/HIV prophylaxis, medical intervention, specimen collection and psychosocial support
    • Adults can choose whether to proceed and report to the Police but its best to have a record and evidentiary specimens readily available in the hospital in case you change your mind later.
    • Counseling is strongly recommended. This is the beginning of healing the mind with some help, allowing a victim to feel someone cares, understands and offers a listening ear and can assist in processing the emerging intense emotions. Negative consequences of psychological trauma can be fatal.
    • Miss E, and many others, felt a lot lighter after sharing or even just writing their story. It’s therapeutic!

P.S Men are not exempt from these incidents. I am sure you have heard of the “mchele” saga (rohypnol and other sedating drugs), and many think drugging of males is by commercial sex workers. Well, I have heard these stories from men raped by fellow female peers!

Feel free to contact us for further information or even to break the silence by sharing your story.