Salome

age 18

It was around 2am when Salome heard banging on the door, someone demanding it to be opened. Salome wouldn’t open the door, and they eventually forced their way in. They were asking for her older sister, who wasn’t home at the time, and they wanted money.

It was the SLDF (chanjawiti). They began to harass Salome, touching her body, then covered her eyes and mouth. They dragged her away to the jungle where she was slapped and forced to lie down, then raped by many men.

Afterwards, they dropped her in the village where the local children found her and called for her sister. She was carried home, and later taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

After time Salome discovered she was pregnant. She was very patient throughout the pregnancy, but the real emotional problems began after she gave birth to her daughter. She felt that she was ‘useless’, her virginity was broken, and she was not respected by the community. Salome felt very isolated. When her school friends found out that she had given birth, they laughed at her. From all of this, Salome went through a period of time when she wanted to slaughter her daughter.

She cried every day for two years, but since the counseling session with Hellen she has become much better. Hellen advised her to learn to love her child and accept what happened. Since then the feeling of wanting to kill her child has disappeared, and she now loves and accepts her daughter.

Salome is still trembling from the trauma, and lives in fear of it happening again. She fears sex, or any man coming near her. She still holds the pain inside her mind, although the pain is lessening as she’s trying to heal.

Her hope in the future is to continue with her education. She received very high grades at school, and she has high expectations to be a university graduate. But right now she relies on her sister to survive.

Salome feels she is unable to forgive – she says what happened to her is unforgivable to her right now, but it will help if she had more counseling, training on forgiveness and believes she will more be relieved from pain if she can continue her education. It would also help to listen to other girls’ stories, so she knows she isn’t the only one who has been through this trauma. She would be very grateful for this, as it would enable her to be released and become ready to forgive and reconcile again with life.

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