Raped 10 times by 7 men; 7 failed suicides & battling hepatitis – 23-year lady recounts horrific ordeal

In the heart of Christian Village, a suburb of Accra, 25-year-old Kiki (not her real name) sits on a wooden chair, neatly dressed in blue jeans shorts, complimented by a sunflower blouse, but her face is buried in her two palms as she tries to hold back uncontrollable tears.

On a regular day, Kiki’s smile is brighter than the sun, but such days have become rare since she turned seven years and was subjected to abuse and multiple defilements by family members and those close to her.

It seems death itself rejected Kiki, as the seven times she attempted suicide failed, and she returned to misery.

She becomes highly depressed when she gets flashbacks or visits her dark childhood days.

She wishes those memories were erased from her brain like files being deleted from Ben Affleck’s memory in the 2003 science fiction film Paycheck.

However, she has to go into total recall one more time as she narrates her horrific experience with The Ghana Report.

She pointed to her portrait when she was six years, looking beautiful, filled with high hopes and great aspirations.

However, life has robbed her of confidence, a safe environment, good health and a sound mind to become an icon to other women.

The pack of tissue on her side was half empty at this point, with the used tissues soaked in tears; her eyes are reddened and swollen, but she musters the courage to recount the wicked and brutal ordeal that happened even before she developed the features of a teen girl.

Kiki lived with her parents and three siblings in a family house at Amasaman-Fise, in the Greater Accra Region.

Her mother was jobless as she nursed Kiki’s six-month-old baby brother at the time.

Her father was a driver for a roofing company and regularly embarked on long journeys outside the region for deliveries.

In 2005, her mother went out with the baby in the morning to watch telenovelas as she regularly did.

At the time, Kiki’s father had travelled.

“It was a bright Wednesday morning when all my friends had left for school. My younger brother and I were not enrolled in school at that time because my parents did not have the money. So, I usually accompanied my friends to school and returned to climb a starfruit tree near the Amasaman dam to keep an eye on my 5-year-old brother, who joined the fishermen to fish in the dam,” She recounted.

The siblings used the money from the fish they sold to buy food.

They will then spend the rest of the day with family and friends until their mother returns home deep in the night.
At this point, another stream of tears rolled down her face.

One day, while seated on a tree branch, thinking about where to get her next meal, she heard the cry of pain from a nearby bush.

Out of curiosity, she headed towards the direction of the squeak.

“As I got closer, I realised the bush was thicker. Before I could figure it out, I was face to face with a man on top of a teenage girl, busily thrusting in and out of the girl while she wailed in pain. I thought I could help get the man off the girl, so I pounced on the man without thinking twice”.

Kiki took a long pause and nearly quit the interview, but she drank a bottle of water and consciously told herself that she had overcome the pain and was not bothered recalling them.

After about five minutes, Kiki continued: “That was the first time I was defiled”.

“When I pounced on the man, two other men also came out from the bush to the scene. Not knowing, they were a group and were watching out for their gang leader”.

“The man then ordered one of the others to defile me, and that was how my innocence was taken on a hot afternoon in a bushy and scary place. They threatened that they would kill my parents if I spoke about the incident to anybody”.

Kiki didn’t know that her paternal uncle, who lived in the same family house, was a gang member.

The incident left her bleeding, with severe pains, and she decided to avoid her regular trip to the tree area to diffuse the trauma.

Even though she appeared sick the next day, people in the house thought it was normal to feel unwell.

While in the house, her grandmother asked her to take food to her uncle in his room.

“I obeyed, and when I knocked and entered my uncle’s room, he pretended to have noticed something unusual about me and asked me to open up about anything that bothered me. He asked me to lock the door so that nobody would hear us. I was naive, so I complied”.

“After I locked the door, he closed all the windows. Before I could say anything, he carried me, laid me on the floor, unzipped his trousers, and started defiling me, cursing me and telling me what right had to go and help someone”.

Kiki narrated that her uncle pinned her to the floor and covered her mouth with one hand as he violently removed her panties with the other hand.

She tried to free herself but was overpowered by the tall, huge uncle. Her cries did not stop him from going ahead with the evil act.

He forcefully penetrated her and made statements about the incident the previous day.

Kiki said she continued to bleed and experienced lacerations around her private parts. Again, her uncle sternly warned her that he and his gang would kill her parents if she told anyone about the two incidents.

It didn’t end there as he grabbed her on two other occasions to defile her repeatedly without showing mercy.

The only way was to end it all, she thought.

In a fishing community where the bad practice of using dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was prevalent, gaining access to the poisonous substance was not difficult.

She went into an uncompleted building to drink the poison.

Neighbours later saw her foaming as the poison began to take effect.

They quickly got palm oil and shoved it down her throat, forcing her to vomit the poison.

Kiki and her family later relocated to Ashongman, where she thought she had escaped all the troubles at Amasaman.

However, she seemed inseparable from thirsty and lusty men who would go to heaven and earth to have a piece of her.

In 2013, when she was 15 years, another incident occurred, sending her into the trauma days of the first defilement.

Kiki contracted bronchitis and spent several days on admission at the Achimota hospital.

She was discharged after recovery, and a male friend from church visited her at home the next day.

At the time, her mother had gone for janitorial work.

She was still weak and lay on a student mattress as the visitor shared words of encouragement with her.

However, it seemed her friend had other motives and began to touch her at sensitive places.

Her pleas to the church brother failed on deaf ears.

As if possessed by some spirit, the church brother switched, pulled down her clothes, and subjected her to forced sex without a second thought.

This time, she decided to confide in her mother.

“I told my mother for the first time, after suffering rape in silence for over 10 years, that my friend had raped me, but my mother shocked me by asking whether I didn’t enjoy the act. Since then, I never spoke to her about anything that concerned me or my health or experience with rape”.

Shortly after, she gained admission to the Oda Senior High School in the Eastern Region.

However, she felt sick constantly and was diagnosed with Hepatitis B.

She didn’t know how she contracted the disease but linked it to the church brother, who violated her without protection.

She managed to complete her secondary education after expensive treatment.

However, lightning would strike again in 2017.

This time, Kiki, now 19 years old, had landed a job as a sales girl at a boutique in Ashongman.

One day, she left the boutique at about 10:20 pm because she had to wait for the shop owner before locking up.

Kiki said she was hungry and decided to buy food on her way, despite the poor lighting along the roads.

Three men stopped her from the opposite direction.

Sensing danger, she decided to run, but they chased her and grabbed her.

She said they dragged her to the bushes and took turns in several bouts of gang rape without protection.

She felt broken and depressed and had no hope after the terminal disease, repetitive rape incidents and trauma.

As a Christian, she believed the church would be a haven, so she confided in her pastor, who presided over a congregation at Ashongman.

The pastor gave her a date for counselling, and she returned to share her ordeal with the pastor.

On the day of the meeting, she discovered that the pastor was rather a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The self-styled pastor started observing her with lustful eyes at a point and moved closer to touch her breasts, which she said she resisted.

Even a disclosure about her Hepatitis B status did not stop the pastor from also following the path of the rapists.

After fighting back to no avail, the married pastor, with one child, succeeded in raping her in his office.

At this point, she felt worthless and undeserving of being alive.

One day, when no one was in the house, she placed a rope around the ceiling fan to hang herself.

According to Kiki, all she remembers was the pain from the noose, which choked her and the last moments she threw her legs in mid-air as she lost consciousness.

However, she woke up miraculously, surrounded by her mother and neighbours. They were worried and tried to question why she attempted suicide, but she kept mute.

“I no longer fight or defend myself if any man attempts to rape me. I tell the men who want to rape me that I am Hepatitis B positive, but I want to believe that they do not believe me. Maybe they thought I was saying that so they do not harm me, but they didn’t know I was serious,” she disclosed.

“Rape has taken a huge toll on my life. I haven’t been able to avail myself for any form of relationship that might lead to marriage. I am afraid of sexual intimacy. I was depressed for 14 years after I was first raped. The most hurtful of all my experiences was that I contracted Hepatitis B from one of the people that raped me”.

All the experiences turned Kiki into a monster with the aim of revenge, as she carried the scar of being raped 10 times but seven men.

She planned to enlist in the military and later go after the rapists one after the other and subject them to painful deaths.

But she had no courage to take another life, so she cried to God.

Kiki now holds a degree in communications from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

She is gainfully employed and uses her leisure for a wig business.

Her dream is to help other children suffering a similar fate.

She wants to fight for defilement and rape victims.

“I believe there are many children out there who are suffering the same fate. I look forward to teaming up with people willing to go on a rescue mission to help children suffering this fate.

“I suffered a lot when it came to my mental health recovery. I look forward to enlightening my understanding to become a mental health activist and a suicide prevention advocate”.

To aid her mission, she has plans to further her studies to become a lawyer.

“I will further my education. I want to read law and advocate for this part of society. Rape must not be mentioned in a developing country like Ghana to talk of the 21st century. All rapists should watch out for me. I will deal with them drastically in my position as a lawyer soon,” she vowed.

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