Auntie Stella

16. I was raped

Theme: Sex and relationships
Forced sex
Speaking out
Changing Society

Dear Auntie Stella

I feel really terrible and have nobody to talk to. When I was younger my uncle always hugged us children nicely and gave us presents. But last year, when I was twelve, he sometimes followed me into the bush when I was fetching water, and touched my breasts and under my skirt. I was frightened but he said it must be our secret or we would both get into trouble.

Then this weekend he came for a funeral and everyone was drinking beer. In the night, when I came back from the toilet, he was waiting. He grabbed me, pushed me down and had sex in me. It was so painful but he hit me when I cried.

Afterwards he said it was my fault because I was wearing a bra and that made him need sex.

Auntie, please help me. I feel bad and dirty and I keep remembering it. I’m too afraid to tell my parents. They will be very angry with me because my uncle helps us with food and money. But what if he does it again? I’m so scared. What can I do?


Talking points

  • What is rape? Is it common in your community? Are the rapists usually strangers or members of the family?

  • In Sibongile’s story, who was responsible for what happened? Why did Sibongile’s uncle behave like that?

  • a girl or woman ever to blame for being raped, for example, if she is wearing sexy clothes? Organise a debate around this question.

  • What advice would you give Sibongile about what to do now?

  • What would you do if you were raped? (boys and girls should answer). Would you go to the police? What are the advantages and disadvantages of reporting a rape?