The issue of abuse touches me on such a deep level but what hurts the most is how people – even fellow women – expect you to be okay with it. How somehow it is your fault when get abused. There are 3 moments of abuse that I will never ever forget.
I was about 8 years walking from the market, I was wearing one of those polyester dresses made from the leftover of my mum’s gomesi, it was shapeless, knee length and definitely not one of those dresses you call provocative. So there was this guy walking towards me, and as he passed by he shoved his hand towards my vagina and walked away. I felt so violated, dirty and helpless at the same time. I didn’t know what I had done to deserve that.
I was in club in my 1st year at campus, dancing with my friends minding my own business and this chap comes and does the same thing. This time, I didn’t let him get away with it. I gave him a resounding slap he will never forget. He had a mind to retaliate but the friends wouldn’t let him. The years have taught me not to be a victim. I can always fight for myself.
About a year ago I was walking back to the office in the industrial area. I remember I was wearing black jeans and a black t-shirt with sneakers, lost in thought as usual. So this boda guy rides passed me and says, ‘nina embolo, njagala kukola‘ translated to mean ‘I have a dick. I want to fuck you’. I was stunned. I checked myself just to confirm if there was something I had done to provoke him. He got closer and said it again. So I calmed myself down, walked towards him as if trying to hear him properly. I grabbed his shirt, asked him if I was a prostitute and proceeded to rain blows on him. I even jammed my finger that day. People gathered around to ask what was the matter and he got onto his bike and rode away. I am sure he will think twice about sexually assaulting women again.
Pamela is a writer and a student of life who refuses to be a victim