I know no other girl as bubbly, warm and smart as my Senegalese friend Celine. Small wonder we became good friends after just one semester in Legon. Recently she was in Ghana on a work-related visit, so we met up for lunch. It had been so long since I last saw her, so our conversation transgressed all topics, till something about sexuality came up.
“I’m not a virgin” she said casually as she tore off a slice of the four-seasons pizza we’d been enjoying (it was terrific Tuesday). “Really?” The naughty in me couldn’t hold back the urge to hear the details.
“I was raped.”
I cringed, blinked sporadically and felt my tongue grow thick and cold. For the first time in the six years I’ve known her, she had me utterly agape with the story she told me.
“Senegal is a lot different from Ghana. I started working in a bank when I was 17. I got the job because I was fluent in French, and multi-linguals were on high demand; irrespective of age. I looked up from my desk one Wednesday afternoon to find a gorgeous, not-really-tall, but innocent looking heart throb standing there in need of some help. We became friends easily. We started talking from time to time and met up once or twice. I should have suspected he had other interests, but mah-myy, the guy looked so angelic.
A large part of Senegal has no reliable electricity, so 80% of those who can afford it fully rely on generators. One time, I forgot to get diesel for our generator and my brother and folks were out. It was so dark I couldn’t even see my hand when I stretched it. The pitch-black darkness had me feeling very uneasy, so when my phone rang and it was this cutie on the line, I was strangely delighted. I told him about the scary darkness and how kinda scared I was. He told me not to worry at all, and that he was in the neighborhood, so he’ll come for me and send me to his end, where there was light.
I was delighted and thought how great a friend he was. He did come for me, and he did send me to his house. It was just us. That was the last night of an 18-year virginity. I swear I didn’t see it coming. As if the rape wasn’t good enough, he verbally abused me. He didn’t need threats to keep my mouth shut, the humiliation, stigma and the feeling that I’m probably to blame did the job for him. Two years later he bumps to me in the middle of the street, kneels down in tears and begs for forgiveness. Imagine that!! Since then, I’m even more wary of the innocent-looking ones.”
I looked at Celine with mixed emotions; rage especially. I was angry on her behalf. But it was pointless; her talking about it was proof that she’d finally gotten over it…6 years later, after feeling so dirty and unworthy of any decent guy.
So now to the real crux of this post; first aid responses to a potential rape situation. This essentially depends on the guy standing before you though.
If he is a newbie, someone you know already, but who’s too horny or drunk on a certain night.
It’s not always smart to be gidigidi, sometimes a calm and controlled response from you could turn him off quicker than he got turned on. I have a friend -Maame, who’s a master of this response.
Unannounced, some guy starts groping her, and reaching for her lips. She just stood there cold, like a log with the most disgusted look on her face (not frightened). She looked at him like how a mother would look at her 12-year old son she’s caught watching porn.
When for a brief second he caught the look in her eyes, she turned and spat on the floor. “Are you done?” she asked him. The way she asked it, the tone and the wording, it psychologically overpowered him. It was like finding out that the girl you thought was hot and vulnerable is actually your mother’s elder sister. Usually guys who this’ll work on are the ones who mistakenly think that by forcefully initiating a make-out, your initial protest will turn into unbridled passion. For those guys, you’ve got to find a way to overpower them psychologically. Their lust is fueled by the impression of you as a Read the rest of this entry »