Gender Gender

Sex scandal: Victims of rapist guardian send SOS

ON ONE fine morning, a man I will call Brown calls me to share that he has been an ardent follower of Gender Focus for a long time and is inspired by my writings, especially on the need to emancipate women from all forms of abuses and injustices.
With reference to an article I did on sex in a family over two years back, he says there have been similar cases in his family and would like to share with our readers.
He says he could not talk on the phone due to the sensitivity of the matter and would rather travel from Mazabuka to Lusaka to meet me in person.
From there, I gave him an appointment, and on that day, Brown shows up at my office, with his face masked-up and on time; after travelling for about 129.5km to meet me. After exchanging felicitations while observing a safe distance from each other, according to the new normal way of socialising, we immediately get down to business.
His mission is to share a story he believes would liberate many victims of sexual abuse, especially children, if there is collective responsibility by close kin to break the silence on sexual abuse within the family set-up.
Brown begins by telling me that the stories we report about in the media about sexual abuse in home set-ups, especially involving children, are just a tip of the iceberg because the actual picture is uglier than we think.
His story is that in his own family in Mazabuka, they have had a number of children who have been sexually abused by their guardian but the cases are never reported. In this particular home, many girls have been sexually molested, and two of the survivors of abuse have borne children for the unrepentant abuser, who to date has continued with his evil acts.
One of the victims is the abuser’s sister-in-law and another his own niece – both have children by him.
Elders in the family know about this man’s immoral and criminal acts, but no one is willing to give him away to the law enforcers because he is a breadwinner of the family.
The man’s wife is aware and suffering quietly, but says she can’t leave him to enjoy the wealth they have acquired together with someone else.
She sympathises with rape victims of her husband, but that’s just how much help she can offer them – a sorry and handkerchief to wipe their tears.
The woman is miserable but helpless. Her greatest fear is economic vulnerability if she happens to leave her husband’s home.
Among this alleged sexual predator’s victims are young dependants in his home, little girls below the consent age for sex.
My source says the abuser is a prominent person in his community who is aspiring to become a civic leader.
What pains the informer most is that the sexual abuse of children in this family has been going on for a long time and many children have been sexually assaulted without the defiler being arraigned.
Three children that were born out of incestuous affairs have grown, but many other children have continued to experience sexual abuse in that home.
According to my informer, victims of abuse continue to bleed inside because justice has been denied by elders in the family who have chosen to sweep the dirt under the carpet.
Seeing their defiler go scot-free and being hero-worshipped in the family because of his financial clout just adds salt to the victims’ wounds.
My informer went on to share that the latest victim of sexual abuse in the family in question is a domestic worker who was hired from the village after making a name for herself in a television reality show.
The girl was a typical villager who was spotted by this particular family after she appeared in a Muvi TV reality show called ‘Beads and Lipstick’.
From what I gather, in that reality show, village girls (Beads) switched roles with town girls (Lipsticks), including their geographical setting, in an attempt to fit into their new environment and lifestyle.
In the reality show, which saw two women grab the top prize, the Beads were made to try out town life in an urban setting in Lusaka, while the Lipsticks were tasked to adapt to village life in a rural setting in Southern Province.
So this man’s victim – a typical village dweller – participated in the Beads and Lipsticks reality show and was actually among the finalists.
The alleged defiler’s wife got attracted to the character of the village girl and her motherly nature while she was featuring on the Beads and Lipstick television show.
She thought she could make a good maid in their home and a search for her was launched until she was traced in her home village in Southern Province.
According to my informer, when the reality show ended, the wife of the alleged rapist travelled to the girl’s village with a job proposition for her because she was her favourite character on Beads and Lipstick.
The girl, who had never had an experience of town life, except during her short stint on the reality show, was more than happy to join this family as a live-in maid.
Typical of the girl’s character on Beads and Lipstick, she turned out to be a good maid who was hard-working, respectful and well cultured.
Unknown to the girl’s mistress, as soon as the young woman had settled in their home, her husband started abusing her sexually. This went on for over two years and the village girl, who had somewhat found a ‘good’ job in Lusaka, kept quiet about it because her abuser had allegedly threatened her with the sack if she ever told anyone about it.
When the woman of the house suspected that the maid could be pregnant, she told her husband about it. But before she could question the girl, she vanished from their home and never returned.
The maid was presumed missing because her relatives in the village did not know her whereabouts. However, the girl’s mistress later received a phone call from people who identified themselves as relatives of their missing maid, inviting her for a meeting in Lusaka.
The woman travelled all the way from Mazabuka where she lives with her family to go and meet the caller in Lusaka. To her surprise, there she found her missing maid heavily pregnant.
On seeing that, the woman knew what she was going to be told next – yes; her beloved husband was responsible for their maid’s pregnancy and had facilitated her escape from home.
The woman was summoned because the girl’s relatives were not pleased about the sexual abuse their daughter had endured for about two years.
They want the man to face the law, and have actually reported him to the police for alleged rape.
My informer insisted that the former Beads and Lipstick star, though above the age of 17, was being sexually abused by the man in question because “she is a very vulnerable village girl. If you were to see her, you would agree with me that she was indeed in a weak position”.
In her narration, the girl actually says she was being raped by her boss and was in no position to negotiate for safe sex.
For your information, the girl gave birth to twins in Lusaka last week. Her family is not sure if her abuser will take care of the twins because their daughter was just being used as an object of pleasure.
My informer shared this story because he wants me to link him to non-governmental organisations that could help rehabilitate the victims of sexual abuse in this family. He also wants the NGOs to help the victims seek justice in a court of law.

Email:eshonga@daily-mail.co.zm/emeldashonga@yahoo.com
Phone:0211-221364/227793


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