Written by: Admin_SheEvo
At the tender age of 12, my family experienced an incredibly trying period in our life. My mother had been employed at Kiblepark, providing our family with some sort of stability and comfort. It was not much, but it was something. However, an unexpected turn of events when the business stopped operating led to a loss of her employment. Suddenly, we found ourselves without a source of income, and homelessness became our grim reality. With no roof over our heads, my younger sister, mother, and I would sleep under the bushes. Our daily existence was a constant struggle as we searched for work so that we could afford basic needs.
During this difficult time, we crossed paths with an elderly man who later extended a helping hand by offering us shelter. Yet, this act of kindness came with an unthinkable and heart-wrenching condition. My mother, in her desperation to secure our survival, made the agonizing decision that I should sleep with the old man. This choice, which I never consented to, would forever alter the course of my life, robbing me of my virginity and causing immeasurable physical, emotional and mental pain that still hovers over me like a dark cloud.
The consequences of this traumatic experience were profound. In 2015, I received the devastating news that I had tested positive for HIV. The infection was a direct result of the encounter with the old man, and it marked the beginning of a lifelong journey with ARV medication, which I still take to date.
In sharing this detailed account, I aim to underscore a critical message to all parents: Please prioritize the well-being and protection of your children. Teach them the values of love, respect, and self-reliance. My journey has served as a valuable lesson, leading me to instill these values in my own children. I encourage everyone to trust in God and maintain hope, even in the darkest moments. Despite the unimaginable hardships, I discovered the strength within myself to persevere, never losing faith in life’s possibilities.
May my story be a source of hope and empowerment for all survivors of sexual abuse. Remember, you are not alone in your journey. I’ve come to realize that the painful experiences I endured do not define who I am. They have taught me to lead my life with a positive outlook and to treat everyone with love and kindness, for we can never truly understand the battles others may be fighting.