Imagine waiting over a year for your case to go to court, fearing that you might not stay safe until that day happened or somehow you’ll end up back living in your worst nightmare.
Supported by Rafiki staff, one of our young girls attended court last week and although petrified, this brave 5-year-old testified. She said she has been to court a lot after several court dates were adjourned for no reason.
“So many times, I have been to court with Uncle Eric and Aunty Nancy. Every time we went, I was dressed in my church clothes. They feel scratchy and new and made me feel like something bad was going to happen. I don’t like my church clothes anymore,” she said.
“My story is hard to think about and even harder to tell a stranger. My mum had a boyfriend and he did the most awful thing to me. I can’t tell you what happened because the sick comes into my mouth and I think I will stop breathing. But I had to tell them in court. I had to tell them what he did to me and that afterwards he left me in a quarry and told me I would be eaten by wild dogs. That I would die. And I believed him,”
“Three times I’d gone to tell what happened and three times we were sent away. I don’t know what I did wrong, the aunties said I did nothing, but maybe they feel bad and can’t tell me. They look a bit cross or maybe it’s sad. I’m still learning all these different feelings and I might have got it wrong. But this day was different. This day I spoke with the judge and told him what had happened. That was really, really hard. Harder than I thought it would be,”
Our little one was so brave and let our staff support her. So many times she was let down by the courts but Aunty Nancy and Uncle Eric never let her down.
“Aunty Nancy cuddled me and held me close when I finished. It looked like she was crying but I don’t think grown-ups cry and no-one had hurt her. Uncle Eric smiled that smile, you know the one that makes you feel that no-one can hurt you again. He put his hand on my head and knelt in front of me. Funny it’s the little things that feel big on days like this.”
Our employees stood with her and we stand with them. This is not an easy part of their job and something not everyone can do. We thank the universe for those who can.
The rapist is awaiting sentence from behind bars where he can currently do no more harm to the innocent babies in the world.
Thank you for helping us to make this happen.