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Abuse / Survival Stories > The family’s meeting: I’m a survivor


It's real, it's the truth....

May 2009 in the DRCongo, my father die, and we set up a meeting. Brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, one of my step mum and the youngest brother of my father, all was present. One by one, we were talking about our projects, arguing and discussing about different point of view in relation with the future’s living of the youngest members of our family. The visible heritage left by my father is also one of the main subjects: nothing left of value, except nearly fourteen children; nearly, because some of his children are unknown. At least several step mums, USD 10000 of loan to refund, and two divested proprieties is also on the list of heritage left.


Apparently, that situation doesn’t affect us much, because one by one, the seven growth children had already left the house long time ago and found way to survive alone; perhaps the youngest are the one who will feel the instability of the broken popular family, if neither realized that.

The youngest brother of my father is the one who apparently lead the meeting.  Academically qualified as a pastor in the USA, and fifteen years now living there, he might be the model of the family who knows to manipulate opinions of people for his advantage, often. But, for me that manipulation doesn’t work. Later I understood his hypocrisy talent, later after being his victim during several years of my childhood.

Everyone in that meeting is listening to him as a wise model, except me. Therefore, as well as others, I seem listening quiet, but my throat gulp down my scream of anger and desperation. I think the word “desperation” feet barely what I feel while listening that charming manipulator, who stole my innocence with tact.

I remember he use to seem kind with me when I was young while sexually abusing of me, that was strange for me, I knew that wasn’t good at all but for a  5 yrs old girl with an almost 20 or 25 yrs old man, I barely know his age, who could clearly understand the consequence of those acts?

He often abused of me, almost a daily when he could get me around alone, at the family house, secretly, with tact and softness. It might be that softness which was confusing me. I don’t remember when he started to do so to me, perhaps when I was less than 5 yrs old, but I remember he stopped definitely when I was 9 yrs old. Because, séance after séance, years after years, that began been more painful. That night I shout to him, and He realize I was a growth up child now, with 9 yrs old, I could understand clearly what was going on, but it was too late. I don’t know what could think nor do my father if he knew the scandal of the favourite brother, who use to stay and live, and being raised as his own son, was abusing of her youngest daughter. I don’t know what my mother could think or do, but by my silence no one knew.

At the end of the meeting, everyone goes back on his business. Resolution which had been set up, could be an ideal for to close every member of our family to each other, but for me, I don’t trust on that meeting, Today I’m 30 yrs old, I don’t trust to the ideal unity in our family which hide sexual abuse, economical abuser and emotional abuse. I was not the only one who had been sexually abused, and the brother of my father was not the only one who abuse to a relative. I barely know the cases of others young girls of my family and their abuser, unfortunately these cases are classified “top secret”, some of “them”, when they couldn’t get little girls, was satisfying they need with hen, dogs, or just touching genitals of little girls while they are sleeping; own sisters, own niece, relatives. Therefore we couldn’t talk, in my family girls are the shame of the family. In my community, when women are victim of rape, people say: “It’s her own fault”, “she didn’t dress well”, “she doesn’t respect herself”, “she’s a prostitute” or “she was in the wrong place at the wrong moment”, when is a child: “it’s the fault of her mother, where was she when that was happening?” The world saw through the international media as women was victim of rape in the eastern of DRC during the war, but the government said: “That not our fault, that’s Rwanda responsibility”. The Irresponsibility started in our family, extended in our society, and reached in our leaders. In my community, victims are more unlucky than offender to escape the blame. Today, in my country, most of who are responsible of atrocity happened during the war in DRC, are leading big responsibility in our society, in our government, in our church, in our life, in our family. Sure about themselves, and proud of their talent, while victims are hiding their crime, because it doesn’t matter to talk while living into a community which blame victims as the shame of the society and protect offender, especially when it about the reputation of a family or a country.

At least, I feel guilty of my silence; I should talk to my father, I should talk to my mother. Now they all dead, now the truth must come out, the world must know. I need to talk to the world, to release the exasperation of my silence, because silence give more advantage to offender, silence is complicity with the offender, in that case silence means no guilty. Everyone who has been victim of abuse must shout and say:  I'M A SURVIVOR.










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