• September 22nd, 2020

Opinion - Survivors

So often, when the news breaks of a rape incident, we rush to the lynching of the perpetrator. We focus all our attention on the rapist that we forget about the victims. No one takes time to check up and make sure they are all right. So I am dedicating this to them, this is to the survivors. You are doing great. 

Dear survivor 
 I’m sorry people think your skirt was too short. I’m sorry that they mistook your silence for consent. I apologise that your wetness made them think you wanted this. I’m sorry that the betrayal from nature and your own body was a cheer for them. To openly expose your most delicate part. I am sorry that they found it easy to take advantage of you.

I am sorry you stay up at night thinking you’re not enough. I’m sorry you have sleepless nights because of that fateful day (s). I am sorry you lost yourself trying to remember and forgetting at the same time. I’m sorry that you had to go through that alone.
I wish there was something I could say to take away the pain. To take away the shame. I’m sorry that my apologies are all I have. That this is all I can offer. I’m sorry you were not believed. That you stood against a gigantic burden alone. That you had to hold your own hand. I apologize for being called a slut for being an existence with a vagina. 

I’m sorry that to be a woman is walking out of your house and fearing that you might end up scrubbing away the dirt at odd hours from your body if not your mind and thoughts. I’m sorry that sometimes leaving your house is accompanied by fear of ending up in a casket. It breaks my heart that existing and being a woman is such a deadly threat. That our cries are muffled throughout ordeals and they try to silence it through protests. I’m sorry that you count returning home as a blessing. That walking in front a man is more frightening than skipping your menstruated cycle. I am sorry that you have to keep constant guard of your surroundings while you could be having a good time. There will never be enough sorries in me to extend your way, but I want you to know I am.

That I am sorry you didn’t get that job because you refused his demands. That you failed that module because you kept his office door open. That you sleep with your lights on if not with your mother. I’m sorry that staying at home has become foreign and you took staying at a friend’s place as an option. I am sorry that you don’t trust your drink with them. I’m sorry they failed you. 

You deserve better. Better than protesting not to be touched without your consent. Better than hugging each other with healing because, every girl you meet has a similar story to tell. You deserve to be the free queen that you are. May your trauma never lower your crown. May it never determine the person you become. May you transcend through it all and become your best version. You’re not what happened to you. You have your own identity. You’re a warrior and you’re here to stay.
Yours sincerely, 
Your beloved child 

• Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-12 11:36:54 | 3 months ago

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