Please hide my identity. A few years ago, I went to a house party with my boyfriend. When we got there, he started drinking and smoking it up with his friends. He kept trying to get me to drink and I was refusing. He would then drink the alcohol and spit it into my mouth as he was kissing me. I felt drowsy and went to lie down. When he was in the corridor, I heard him say to his friends, “Ubabes senokhile, ofuna ukutshay’ inyawo kahambe kuye.” (The girl has passed out, whoever wants to rape her can go ahead.) I woke up and stumbled my way out and I left. I walked over to my best friend’s brother’s workplace and he took me to his office and forced himself onto me. This secret is the reason why I no longer speak to my best friend. How do I tell her what happened?
First of all, I am so sorry that happened to you, no woman should ever feel unsafe with the people she is supposed to feel safe with. I understand that it must be difficult for you to comprehend that your boyfriend and your friend’s brother could put you in such a situation and take advantage of you when they were the ones who were supposed to protect you. You did not deserve that and do not ever for a second think that it was your fault, or that you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, if anything, you are the victim in all this. If I may, I’d like to shift from the concern of telling your friend for a bit and focus on you, it’s perfectly normal to worry about how to tell your best friend about this, but at this point I strongly suggest that you worry more about your wellbeing and put yourself first before you can focus on another person’s feelings.
Take care…of you
Have you been to a doctor for a checkup? That should be the first thing you need to do, to make sure that physically you are ok and that you’re aware of any sexually transmitted diseases that you may have been exposed to and get it treated in time. Your health is important and we need to be sure that you’re protected, secondly, your emotional health. Rape is a painful ordeal to go through on your own, you need a support system and you need to be able to share what has happened to you with someone you trust so that it doesn’t build up inside you, now there is no easy way to deal with pain but having a support system can assure you, that you are not alone, and trust me, you are not. So whether you feel more comfortable talking to family member or a church leader; find a support system, in such instances I usually suggest family because they are the ones closer to you, but you may be feeling scared to open up to them, regardless they do love you and they will be there for you if you let them, but ultimately find a support system you can trust.
I also suggest that you go for counselling, sometimes it is a lot easier to speak to a stranger than to someone you know, getting professional help is essential and there are a number of organizations that offer free counselling to women who have been through traumatic experiences, one that I know of is under the Revival Church, I have a friend who was in a somewhat similar situation and thanks to those counselling sessions she is getting better and building herself back up again. I will leave the contact details below this article if ever you need to use it, please do, look out for you.
Rape is a crime, and I feel that sometimes, out of fear of humiliation and shame we as women tend to turn a blind eye and choose to not report an attempted/actual sexual assault or rape, but it is a crime, a crime that both your boyfriend and friend’s brother committed; and it should not be ignored, taking legal action is entirely up to you, but what these men did was sick and wrong. They had no right! And your friend’s brother had no right to force himself on you, therefore he must be held accountable for that. If he could do it with you, he will do it again.
As much as we wish to, we can’t turn back time, but you may be able to protect another female from going through the same thing, and that goes for your ex-boyfriend and his friends as well. If they could do that to you, this may not be the first or last time. They could do it again, I am calling him an Ex because I assume you’ve kicked him to the curb by now. Hunnay, if I was your friend, I’d advise you to report them all, such crimes cannot be overlooked but as I said before, the legal route will be up to you, just make sure you have your support system and your medical records there when you do.
How to tell her…
Now for the answer that you’ve been waiting for, I’ll be honest, there is never a right way to say that you’ve been raped, no matter how you choose to say it. I suggest that you speak honestly and not to shy away from the truth, there is no need for you to feel like you need to soften the blow by not expressing what truly happened just so your friend feels better, because in trying to protect her, you will only be hurting yourself and protecting him as well. Whichever way she chooses to take the news should in no way make you feel like you’re a bad person, because you’re not, either way your relationship with your friend changed the very day her brother did what he did, and nothing you do or say can change that. You may cease to become friends entirely or grow distant because what has happened is aligned to her family…
And that’s ok, you may not be able to save your friendship but you can save yourself from the regret of keeping this inside when you wanted to let it out the time that it happened. Sometimes we may need distance in order to get through situations that are difficult for us to comprehend, and if your friendship takes that route then remember that it is not your fault, and that no friendship is worth your own sanity, you may need to move on without her but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get through this ;)…you’re not alone…
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