ELVIS (16 YEARS OLD) about surviving violence
“I AM NO LONGER QUIET”
The abuse started when I was 15, and I experienced it under my uncle, my primary caregiver. Because I was an orphan, my uncle offered to pay my fees, which is how I ended up living with him. He blackmailed me by demanding sexual favours to pay my fees. When I needed to join form 1 after living with him for almost a year, my uncle started to touch me inappropriately.
It started with him caressing my thigh when we were alone after picking me up from school. The first time it happened, I froze and continued to freeze because I was scared and embarrassed. He then started storming in the shower when I was naked, and he would stare at me and comment on my body. This made me even more embarrassed. This became more frequent; one night, he climbed onto my bed and started touching me. That night ended with him sodomizing me…
I never spoke about it because I did not understand what I had done to deserve this.
HOW I GOT SUPPORT
Two weeks later, my best friend told me I had changed and asked me if anything was wrong. I just started wailing and opened up to him about what happened and has been happening for the past two weeks. My best friend told his parents, who picked me up and took me to the hospital.
When in hospital, a medical social worker and doctor took my best friend’s parents and me through the reporting process. They also reassured me that I did not contract any diseases and that the abuse was not my fault. If I did not seek help when I did, I am sure the abuse would have continued and gotten worse.
RESCUED FROM UNCLE
After the hospital visit, I lived with my best friend’s family for a few days before being taken in by another relative. I never thought that anything like that would happen to me, and I am glad I got the help I needed. At the hospital, I was given the 1190 One2One helpline number I can call anytime for support. I have also been in therapy. I also feel less ashamed because IT IS NOT MY FAULT. My counsellors continue to reassure me that THIS DOESN’T DEFINE ME, IT’S NOT MY FAULT, AND I WILL HEAL. If this has happened to you, please seek help and know you will be okay.