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On a cold and rainy afternoon after college, I stood outside waiting for a taxi. Just then, a guy I had been texting with asked if he could come and pick me up, I said yes. He invited me to his house, first I declined but then changed my mind because I trusted him. He heated tea with added milk powder to so that I wouldn’t catch a cold from the rain. 

I woke up in his house with my clothes torn and with injuries all over my body. When I asked what had happened, he said nothing. He claimed that he changed my clothes because they were wet. I graduated and tried to forget that day, but it was impossible, I had lost the peace inside me.

After some years I found a job and a man that I liked. We lived together in one household away from my parents. We did not register our marriage. The man that raped me that day called me and threatened to expose the fact that I was no longer a virgin. He said that he had raped me so that I would be his forever. I told my boyfriend the truth. He said that it did not matter to him. He said he would protect me so that I could forget that day and build a future together with him. Trusting him was my second mistake.

We had a good relationship for the first two months then the beatings and name calling started. I wanted to leave him. He said that he would tell my parents and people in my neighborhood that I am no longer a virgin if I left him. He also said that if I leave him, he will kill himself and I will be to blame for his death. I was terrified my parents would find out that I was no longer a virgin. Therefore, I was okay with anything he did to me.

One day he beat me even more brutally than he usually did. He said he was going to take me to the police station and that I was to blame my dad for my injuries. So that I would no longer belong to my parents but to him. He waited outside as I entered the police station that day. Since I was alone, I decided to tell the police the truth, they were kind people and believed me. They called my parents and when the man who had mistreated me for years saw them, he ran away.

My story reached the prosecutor’s office I told them the real story too. When they heard they sent me to a shelter for women. I had never heard of it before but coming there was like being reborn. I started to dream again.

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