Blog Post

Sexual violence is also a crime

I stood in the darkened driveway, staring at the empty space where my car was supposed to be. As the realization I was a victim of car theft swept over me, I was jolted back to the last time I was the victim of a crime: as a teenager, at the hands of a man who sexually abused me for several years.

When I eventually told people about my abuse, some who were close to my abuser chose not to believe me. "Why didn't you fight him?" they asked. "Why didn't you scream? You've always been so outspoken - if it really happened you would have told us earlier!"

I was branded a liar, labeled mentally unstable, told I had got it all wrong.

This misplaced blame left me feeling broken. Relationships were destroyed, my family was torn apart and the shame that had been heaped on me for years by my abuser had new life breathed into it.

As I stood in the empty driveway, all of this coursed through me once again. For a moment, I panicked that no-one would believe me that my car had been stolen; maybe someone would tell me it was my fault. Perhaps the police would put me through the trauma of making a three-day-long statement.

But my shame was quickly replaced with relief. I knew I had no reason to feel ashamed, and I knew no-one would blame me for anything. How could they? It wasn't my fault; no-one should have stolen my car.

So I spoke to the police. I rang my insurance company. I told my family. Everyone treated me with kindness and empathy. Why hadn't this been the case when I disclosed my sexual abuse? That was also a crime which wasn't my fault.

  1. No comments yet, be the first to make one

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Comment

About Us

MySalvus is an interactive sexual violence reporting platform where cases of sexual violence can be reported anonymously.

Contact & Support

34 Curtis Adeniyi Jones Close off, Adeniran Ogunsanya St, 101211, Lagos

(+234) 704-683-5377

For urgent help, contact the Lagos state Domestic Sexual Violence Response Team 'DSVRT'