Auntie Stella

3. Must I sleep with my sister’s husband?

Theme: Sex and relationships
Forced sex
Relationships with family and community

Dear Auntie Stella

I am a 15-year-old girl, living with my older sister and her husband.This baba mukuru (brother-in-law) is very cheerful and is respected in my family. He has always been teasing me and talking about chiramu. Recently he said that he wants me to sleep in their bedroom, and that I should do this because it is our tradition.
What should I do? Is this right? I am afraid he wants to have sex with me. But if I say no, he will tell me to leave.


Talking points

  • Discuss what you know about chiramu/sibale? Do you have a similar tradition in your community? What is supposed to happen with this tradition? What actually happens?

  • ‘Respect your elders’– do you think young people should always respect their elders, even if their elders ask them to do something dangerous or harmful? How can young people get support in these situations?

  • What advice would you give Patricia? Who can help her?