From: bronx, ny
A strong 11 year old
I woke up excited as ever i had this dress… it was denim light blue with the prettiest buttons.my mom had gotten it for me from America it was a big deal to have dresses from America as soon as i put it on i started to run around with the biggest smile in my face i felt like a princess…all of my family members were getting ready for work. Everyone was home.as i jumped in joy everywhere i hear “HEYYY WHATS UP EVERYBODY” it was neighbor…the neighbor that everyone likes.as i went to go sit down he sat next to me and gave me a smile and said “u look beautiful in that little short dress” he grabbed my hands and gave me look it was that look that he wanted something from me. you would think as an 11-year-old u understand that? no it is just…it just was not the first time. He offered to do henna on my hands
he was so sweet…so gentle…as he took my hand, he started to draw little circle designs.as a kid who would not get excited to have designs. Something so innocent right? as a kid you would never imagine that receiving kindness was a form of manipulation.
as he was continuing to do the designs, he would grab my hand and he would stop to caress my thighs and laugh in a of “we are just having fun” type of way. I was uncomfortable but I did not say anything what was the point of me saying something…he was like a brother. Everyone liked him. I figured I should too, right? he proceeded to carry me and take to my room he put me in the bed and went on top of me…I did not want this what is happening i said in my head i told him “GET OFF OF ME!”
he got up and unbutton his pants and started to take them off i ran to the bathroom as he was chasing me, I try to lock the doors but i could not, he kept pushing the door open while i try to close it I yelled “STOP” “STOP” in fear i got out to run again but he grabbed me to cover my mouth…yet no one heard my screams. I pushed him with all the force i had and ran to my mother’s room to hide he was looking for me knowing he could not find me without making it suspicious i heard a phone ringing he had called someone to come help him find me…i was shaking…i felt my heart beat. Every single beat. He then left the room without seeing me. I ran to my stepmom crying saying he raped me he raped me. My stepmom told my mother and my mother slapped me and cried saying why me. I know she was crying because of the pain she was going through she did not slap me because she think I deserve it; she slaps me because her body did not know how to react to the pain I was going through. She did not cry because she felt sorry for me, she cries because she knew how the society will react to it, the disgrace it will bring to our family. At some point it was not about me being rapid, it was about the society. I wish I did not say anything, everything will be fine thinking to myself. I was born in society where women are mean to be silence women are not mean to speak up women have no voice, I grow up watching women in my life silence my mom was crying because I was different and difficult, because I speak for myself, I stand up for my rights I stand up for someone who makes me hate myself. I stand up for the future of our women’s.
Seeing the whole village looking down at a child who does not even know her own name just because she stands up to her abuse and a rape is incredibly sad calling her name, judging her based on what she wears at 11 years old. How did I felt a 11 year ago girl I was strong i guess, I was strong for a 11-year-old but in my head, I believe what the society said about me I did not know who I am, I hear things about everywhere but I know in my heart I am just a 11-year-old trying to survive myself.
I was not afraid of losing because I felt like I lost the pride of being a woman.
I am writing this part of the chapel of my life because is part of that builds who I am
today, it makes me strong and never afraid of the challenge that comes on the way. Learning about what happened to me and learning how to live with a uncover scars that everybody can see from far, makes me comfortable with myself and confidence. It makes me confident and I started young women group where we talked about things that happened to us and how to fight for our rights and voices.
I know My name is fatoumatta