Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
SEXUALLY MOLESTED at age eight and then suffering the same fate 10 years later, 32-year-old Aneka has tried hard to bury her tragic past.
Up until a few weeks ago, Aneka said she was doing a good job of concealing the horror she suffered during her childhood. But with recent stories emerging of women and children being raped and murdered, the ghost from her past has came back to haunt her.
“When I heard the news of the eight-year-old who was raped in St James, it’s like it was happening to me all over again,” Aneka said.
“Nowadays, I am hearing about CDA (Child Development Agency) and child registry (Office of the Children Registry). Where were they when I was getting molested by my stepfather? Who protected me from my cousin? I was just beaten and sent away.”
With tears streaming down her cheeks, Aneka told The Gleaner that telling her story is important to ridding herself from the emotional bondage.
“I want closure and I want my children to see this and understand what I went through and all that I am doing now to make life better for them. I want people to understand what some people face,” Aneka said.
She told The Gleaner that the horror chapter in her life was first written along March Pen Road, Spanish Town, where she was living with her mother and cousins at the time. It was at the age of eight she recalled her male cousin, then 15 years old, started fondling her.
She said it happened several times and she would go to her parents’ home whenever there was an episode. Aneka alleges that it was not long before her cousin had his way.
“One day things got out of control. Nobody was at home at the time. He held me down and I tried to stop him but he didn’t stop. When I told my mother he wasn’t arrested or anything. All they did was beat him and send him to the country because that’s where he was from,” Aneka said.
Adding that she was regarded as an “eloquent and brilliant student” while in primary school, Aneka said her academic performance fell off.
Her ordeal was to continue. She said that at age 13, she was once again introduce to sex by her stepfather.
“I used to see him as my guardian angel. How I found out that he was a dirty man was one day when he said to me, ‘You start have sex yet? You must try it innuh, it nice’. From then, I would catch him peeping through the zinc when I was bathing. He would try to touch me on my breast.”
“One day he tried to kiss me and I bite him so hard on his lip that it split and he told my mother that is zinc cut him and she just suck it up like a sponge and believe him.”
Things came to a boiling point for her when at age 18 she was raped by two acquaintances while stranded on her way to a party.
She said the matter ended up in court but was later quashed after she received death threats to keep silent.
“It reached the Circuit Court, but that was it. I couldn’t do anything because I was threatened.”
Now, concerned about the number of rape cases, the 32-year-old is calling for the Government to fast-track plans to implement a sex offenders’ registry while moving to implementing other draconian measures to deter offenders.
“The ones who molest without actual penetration, I would love for their names to be entered in a registry, receive counselling and reinstated into society. Those who rape should either be hanged or castrated,” she said.