Survivor Series Episode 1:Elizabeth’s Story
They say trust is like a balloon, once you prick it, it bursts and you end up losing it.
I had just moved down to Lagos after my NYSC. Lagos, they say,it is the city to make it. I remember calling my friends who knew someone somewhere to help me get a job. I was job seeking, as is the case so many young Nigerians, so much that I sent over a thousand copies of my curriculum vitae (CV) to organizations with the hope of getting a job. In this time, I got talking to a friend whom I met on Facebook, I was hoping he could help me get a job. We were friends for almost two months during which we got to talk quite frequently.
On this fateful Sunday, this my friend called me to tell me about a job interview at Ibadan which was scheduled on the next day being Monday at 8AM. A ray of hope, I thought, but I had the issue of accommodation as I knew no one in Ibadan. This I let him know and he offered to take care of my accommodation. I told my mother about his offer, although skeptical initially, she however agreed that I go seeing as I needed a job badly. With hope and expectations, I set out to Ibadan and I met my friend on arrival, he was nice to me and even bought me food to eat. When I was ready to change my dress, I asked that he excused me but he replied me asking if I was a child, I let him know I was not comfortable with the idea of him in the room while I changed.
At this moment, another man came out of the bathroom and I realized the story that day was not going to end well, I resorted to begging them, begging who I thought was my friend whom I had trusted enough to come to a town where I knew no one, but him. I trusted him not to violate me. The other guy also asked me if I was a child and if I thought they would spend money accommodating me just to look at my face. I was hopeless. I cried as they took turns on me that night, cried as they violated me and satisfied their urges against my will. The next day, I got help from the cleaner who helped me to the park to come to Lagos, on my way I called my closest friend and confidant to let her know about what happened to me. I could not bring myself to telling my mother the truth. It was my friend who told me of the NGO Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER) and how they help Rape victims.
We went to the police station and within 40 Minutes, a representative of STER was with us to help with the case, the policemen were unable to track down the culprits in Ibadan unfortunately. However, I was taken to a hospital where I was treated for an STi I had contracted from the rape. STER also introduced me to counseling to help me move on. Gradually but surely, I am moving on from that bitter experience in my life. My name is Elizabeth and this is my story.