VIOL-ATED

Source: Facebook

We sit idly under the mango tree, waiting for our next class

The girls are engaged in a heated debate but I just didn’t care

Or maybe I just pretended not to care, which was strange to them

I was always the life of every debate, arguing till the end

But today, I just didn’t think I had the words with which to express my thoughts.

‘I can’t wait for the day my husband claims my virginity’, one says

Ah, boul deyga. Lolu amatut solor jamano ji‘, another argues

They pick it up from there, each one firm in their belief

And then, ‘All these girls that are not virgins on their wedding night must have been promiscuous’

That cut deep into my heart and I wanted to yell

I wanted to say everything that came rushing to my mind

How would they understand?

That I can never look people deep in the eye, for fear that they might see

That I spent years growing up with the pain and the trauma

That I would go on with nightmares for weeks without end

That sometimes, I would be scared to sleep so as not to bring back the memories

That each time I close my eyes, I see his lean shape towering over me

That I feel uncomfortable wearing short clothes, for fear that he might come back for me

That I didn’t choose to live my life wishing I were someone else

That each day, I would spend hours in the shower, trying to cleanse myself.

Can I ever be clean? Can I ever regain that purity and innocence he took away from me?

I cringe when I think of my wedding night and what people expect of me

I try to tell myself that I should care less what people think or say about me

Yet I am reminded of the society I was born and grew up in

That society that looks forward to the red stain on the white cloth

That stain that proves I’ve been a good girl, chaste and full of morals

When they ask me if I’m a virgin, I am always torn between two responses

I can’t remember how deep he went, or whether it hurt

But each time, I end up answering in the positive. Yes!

Because deep inside, my soul whispers ‘Yes’ to me.

Sometimes I curl up in a quiet corner and let my tears take control

Wishing, hoping and praying for that one day of freedom

When I can let it all out, with no chains holding me down

When I can stand out tall and seek justice for my body

When people will listen to my story and for once, not judge me

When I wouldn’t be blamed for what happened to me

When people would stop pointing fingers at me

When others would stop looking at me like I’m dirt

Pasting labels on every part of my defiled body

Stripping me of the little pride I had left

Adding more pain to my already clustered life

Pushing me to the limit, making me want to end it all.

Then; only then shall my soul know peace again

I shall lie down, sleep and have beautiful dreams

I can look, with ease, into the eyes of the people I love

I shall smile, not to cover up my insecurity, but because I have a reason to

I will see past the ‘sorry’s that get thrown my way

I shall take them as genuine empathy and not patronizing sympathy

Then, I shall learn to love again, without fear

I shall learn to love and appreciate my beautiful body

Then I shall hold out my hand, to all other victims

Of rape, of sexual molestation, of domestic violence

And together, we shall stand tall and make a change

We shall let the world know; that

We have been Viol-ated but it makes us no less human!

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14 thoughts on “VIOL-ATED

  1. Sait

    A must read piece. Our society is best at stereotyping women who are not found virgin. I think this piece has vividly explored the inhumane practices that affect women in the Gambia and the world over. Thanks Jama. Great work

    Reply
    1. myzzdiamant Post author

      That right there, is the truth. We see people and assume all is well with them. Many stories are left untold as a result of the insecurity that surrounds us. We can make a change. Let’s do this!

      Reply
  2. Visitor

    Generally I don’t read articles on blogs. However, I would like to say that this write-up forced me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

    Reply
    1. myzzdiamant Post author

      Wow! I’m very much honored that this piece inspired you enough to read and make a comment. Linguere is grateful and hope you drop by again. Stay blessed!

      Reply
  3. divalicious

    I was really crying reading dis post, I felt it so hard, dis are things dat happens to people like me but scared to tell anyone cuz of da society we live in, people will startin pointing fingers at u, callin u names without knowing ur story n wat u wen tru, dis post is talking about wat happen to people like me, n is a really appreciated piece Jama, plz we need more of dis to be able to educate da society of what’s goin on, girls being violated n they are scared to pour out their hearts to the world, plz let’s share this, Jama this is much appreciate by me in particular, God bless you xoxo

    Reply
    1. myzzdiamant Post author

      Thank you for the bold comment Divalicious! As you rightly stated, rape is a crime that is swept under the rug and victims are usually blamed for what happens to them. It is a tough battle but we’re hoping we can be able to break the silence and give a voice to all survivors of rape. You may contact GARM on Facebook or get to my e-mail and we could help you work through this phase. Keep strong and join us fight this menace!

      Reply

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