I am a Virgin. The Rape belongs to my Rapist, NOT ME.

Their faces around the table, filled with excitement and expectancy. They waited and listened and responded. They asked questions that were direct and brutal. They looked straight into your soul or they kept their eyes …

I am a Virgin. The Rape belongs to my Rapist, NOT ME

Their faces around the table, filled with excitement and expectancy. They waited and listened and responded. They asked questions that were direct and brutal. They looked straight into your soul or they kept their eyes cast down to the table. Either way, you felt the full weight of their shame and anger.

Talking to our teenage girls about sex and being safe is not like talking to other girls. They know more than you would ever want them to know about the deceit and trickery that happens on a moment to moment basis in their society. Their stories are unbelievably frightening and true. Their abuse had been humiliating, destroying and often long term. They had been made to feel that they were to blame for the horrific crimes committed against them. They were threatened into silence; laughed at; mocked and thrown away from a society that judged them for being raped.

And yet, sitting in the curtain of their trust, their bravery, their souls, these amazing beautiful young ladies talk about the very things they have been programmed to forget. They call on their immense bravery to talk about their abuse and more importantly, the impact that has had on their fragile souls. They ask the questions that burn their souls.

Will a man ever want me now? How do I hide the fact that I have been raped? Will my husbands family need to be told? Can I ever be a virgin again?

We talk about the strength of being a female and how they feel that that strength is owned by the men that chose them; the shame of what has happened to them; the fact that they know they are not to blame but society does blame and judge them, so surely they are at fault?

There are tears and laughter. They bore into your eyes and soul to find a crumb or rejection or blame that you may be holding on to. They challenge you in a complex way, both honestly and by tricking you. They can’t quite believe that you love them just the way they are, the same as us all, perfectly imperfect; that their abuse doesn’t define them. They struggle that you see their humour, their fun, their inner beauty and that you don’t see the stain on their bodies that they so want to obliterate.

They listen in disbelief that the most important person in their future is not their husband but themselves. The simple fact that they feel they have to impress their future husband and his family confirms the unloved and stony road they are still walking towards self acceptance and love for self.

The complexities of raising strong Queens means we have to raise strong Kings to. Without the boys being empowered to love a strong woman, the beatings of women gets worse as the men fight to control them even more.

Then one of our quiet strong warrior queens speaks up. She waits until she has the full attention of her Rafiki family and clearly states;

“I am a virgin. I didn’t give myself willingly. I didn’t have a choice. No-one asked my permission to rape me. Therefore I chose to be a virgin until I want to have sex, if I ever do. Until then, in my heart I know I am innocent and I don’t have to prove that innocence to anyone. It is mine and only mine to give. The rape belongs to my rapist, not to me”


Rafiki Mwema Registered Charity
FIA Organisational Member - Code Compliant