Young rape victim speaks out

By Rosalia David

SAMANTHA Jacobs (not real name) endured a terrifying experience but is turning her tragedy into something she hopes will assist other young women who have gone through the torture of being sexually molested.

Like anybody else, Samantha at high school in a small village in Ohangwena never imagined her life taking a sudden turn for the worst, as all she wished for was to finish school and move to the much talked about capital city to pursue her studies.

She never thought that one day her dreams would be cut short by her own teacher, someone who was entrusted to provide her with knowledge and protect her, but whom she describes as a monster.

She one day found herself staying behind in class for no reason, while everyone else was allowed to leave. She remembers how he forcefully wrapped his long arms around her back and she kept telling him to stop, but nothing she said mattered. He continued to unbutton her school shirt and that’s when she stood up and tried to run but the door was locked.

“Every time I speak about this horrific incident I start getting flashbacks. It feels like it all happened yesterday, but I have made peace with the fact that it happened and it wasn’t my fault. What makes it worse is that a teacher did it to me during afternoon classes,” she explained.

She added that if she had known that her teacher wanted to sexually molest her she would not have agreed to stay behind.

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“I thought there was something he wanted to explain to me until he started closing all the windows and undressing himself. I kept running around the classroom screaming, but everyone else was gone. He then managed to push me to the ground and lifted up my skirt,” she said.

At that moment she said that she could not defend herself; he was stronger than her. Samantha described the incident as terrifying as she recalls how he forcefully had sexual intercourse with her without caring that she was shouting and crying.

“He didn’t care, he told me to keep my mouth shut or he would get rid of me and no one would ever find me. I got so scared that I had to stop shouting and screaming,” narrates Samantha sadly.

Looking back on that dreadful day, she said she should have been more careful and believes she should not have allowed the rapist to convince her to stay behind while everyone else was gone. But at the same time, she knows that she is not to blame. She was not at fault. She didn’t deserve to be assaulted.

After the incident when she got home, it was written all over her face, her eyes were swollen from crying and she had to tell her grandmother what happened, as her grandma would not stop asking why the child was in such a state.

She lived with her grandmother, as her mother had passed on, hence Samantha’s grandma reported the case to the police and the teacher was immediately arrested, but not even his arrest could help the victim sleep at night.

She dropped out of school and stayed home to help with the house chores because school reminded her of the traumatic incident.

The assault happened a few years ago. Samantha is now a mother of one and is currently working at a cuca shop to take care of her only son.

“I could have been somewhere better today but it’s okay. I have made peace with it and ever since I made it a point to heal and be happy, I have been happy indeed. I am just thankful for the gift of life.”

Samantha has come a long way in her recovery and is now stronger and able to speak openly about her ordeal, saying that there is a huge reason why she decided to speak up. “If I can help just one person from getting raped, that is my goal. A lot of people are afraid to speak out.

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Samantha said the sexual assault changed her life and she had to find ways to get through the most difficult days. Even though she is now at a point in life where she is happy, in the past she was always nervous and fearful when walking alone.

“I won’t deny that I still have a habit of looking out my window before I go out though and I am always looking around; I didn’t feel safe in my own room after the incident,” she said.