I was sexually assaulted at the age of 4,My dad physical and verbal abuse me and was raped few months to her wedding:-Kathlyn Eyitemi
Kathlyn Eyitemi was sexually assaulted at the age of four, endured physical and verbal abuse from her dad and was raped few months to her wedding. Her mother committed suicide when she was fifteen .
She was engulfed in self-denial and condemnation and was silent about it for years till she got healed .Today, she is the president of Sisters Interact Network, an interactive NGO for hurting women, providing emotional healing to victims of rape and abuse. She shares her story in this interview.
My story began at age four when I found myself in an abusive situation while I was living with my grandmother in the village. I cannot say for sure when the abuse started but by age four I could identify that my older cousin was having sex with me in my grandmother’s house. At age five, I moved on to begin living with my father in port Harcourt and he turned out to be verbally and physically abusive. I endured verbal and physical abuse till I was in my mid-twenties.
While I was a student in the university, a few months to my wedding, armed robbers burst into my room at night. They yanked part off part of my hair off my scalp, beat me mercilessly and and two of them raped me.
I momentarily lost my mind and stayed numb for a long time. In the morning I went to the hospital to get help. My fiance understood when I called him to tell him. He immediately came to pick me from school. Haunted by the memory and the pain, I lost confidence in myself and lived in fear for a long time.
Six years later, I found healing in God. And when social media came I figured I needed to create a platform where women could open up and talk about their pain and their issues and they could seek help as well. I also wanted to provide an opportunity to reach teenagers and make counseling available to them because as a teenager I was in a lot of pain and confusion.
I decided to break the silence on my rape experience about five years after the incidence when it dawned on me that several women had been through the same ordeal but they couldn’t talk about it for fear of being singled out and stigmatised.
They were just hurting in secret. I knew if i spoke out, it would help many of these hurting women because then, they would know that it happens to other everyday women. When I founded Sisters Interact Group on Facebook five years ago, I wanted it to be like a therapeutic space where women could frankly speak out about their deepest hurts. At the time I was hurting so badly from all the pain I had been through. I hadn’t gotten over the shock of my mother committing suicide when I was just fifteen. I had been verbally and physically battered in the home where I grew up with my dad and step mum.
I just finally wanted to let out my pain but I wanted it to be rewarding. I wanted someone to glean something right from it and find succor from knowing that we could pray for each other and be there for each other. I figured I would impact more women if I just told them my story on the group wall so everyone could read. When I did that, the responses were just amazing. Those who had been rape victims began to talk and others were just so supportive. – Kathlyn Eyitemi