(DEDICATED TO MISS ALTHEA CHIN, MY COMMUNICATION STUDIES LECTURER AND DR. DERRICK AARONS FOR BEING A SOURCE OF COMFORT FOR ME AND MY MOTHER TRUDY-ANN ROSE FOR BEING MY FORTRESS OF STRENGTH)
Anja Romanov –Her Story
The day I got raped was the most unforgettable, shattering and terrifying day of my life! I was so confused; it was all just bacchanal in my head. The lines of reality and insanity blurred and I didn’t know who I was, I was numb. I couldn’t bring myself to accept what had happened to me but how could I? My dignity was just ripped away from me; I wasn’t just a mere damsel in distress, I was made lesser than the ground that we spit upon, I was nothing.
My body felt so nasty and tainted, I wished the endless tearful showers I took could make me clean and pure again. I wished the water could just wash it all away and baptize me with a new self and make me human again. Sadly, it didn’t work and all I wanted to do was to just runaway, but runaway to where? I was now an alien in a world filled with beasts waiting to devour what was left of my nothingness. Then all I wanted to do was just to end it all but I couldn’t bring myself to do such a thing; I didn’t have the courage. I wasn’t bold enough; I was weak.
Gathering up enough courage to face the world outside of my dark bedroom, I decided to tell my mother about the gruesome assault I had gone through earlier. Tearfully and full of grief she said to me "Wah wi ago do? Yuh waah go dung a station and report it? Lawd Jesus Christ a wah dis dem to mi pikney? Help mi fada God!! ". I didn’t want to go through publicly reliving the moment so I begged my mother to not report it and reluctantly she agreed.
I felt ashamed and frightened. I ran to the bathroom to get myself cleansed again of my stained self, for this time I’d be finally clean and the world didn’t need to know of my assault.
The next morning I learnt of my mother's betrayal. She had reported the rape to the police and they instructed her to take me to the CISOCA office and then to the hospital. I didn’t want anybody to know my embarrassing secret but mommy's cry of justice tolled in my head like the death bell so I knew I had to go. Reluctantly, I readied and braced myself to face the world and the beasts waiting to devour me.
Being on the outside for the first time since my assault I felt as if I was out of place. I felt like a zombie. I was scared if my attacker would assault me again. I was so nervous; it was as if the world was staring at me because they knew my disturbing secret. I felt as if all their laughs and suspicious whispers were about me. I wanted to go back to my dark room where I could be safe again.
A few hours later I was at the CISOCA office and the officer asked me to write a report of what had happened to me. I thought "how dem fi do dis to mi now? Don’t they have a heart, dem really want mi fi go back ova dat, mi nah do this!”
I later went to the hospital where they performed a rape kit on me; it was as if I was assaulted all over again! It was horrific. I was so ashamed and I thought to myself "well I'm nothing in this world anymore; di beast dem can have dem own sweet way wid mi after all I’m just garbage!"
September came and it was time for school. By this time I had given up on life and everything. I wasn’t ready to leave my safe place. Mommy pleaded her words of encouragement every day until I obeyed. "Love, I'm here to support you, you have a strong support system behind you. This is just another hurdle in life, I know it's hard but try to move on from this and don’t let it weigh you down, "
A year had passed and I realized I was too depressed, I was over with all the talk about getting justice by sending a man to prison 'cus quite frankly, I wasn’t getting any. It was the constitution that was getting justice because at the end of the day I was still scarred, mentally and emotionally.
I concluded that the only way I was going to get justice was if I gave it to myself. To do this I had to start appreciating the beauty of life and start to live it, but most of all I had to start being happy again. I deserved to. I was not going to allow myself to be unhappy while my attacker was out in the world living his life. I deserved to live my life happily too.