My stepfather raped me in return for food, school fees

A 17-year-old girl yesterday narrated how her stepfather raped her when she was only five — “in return” for feeding her and paying for her education.

Grace (not her real name) said the man only agreed to support her if she agreed to have sex with him.

She shared her story during the national dialogue on the protection of children from sexual and gender-based violence at KICC.

In 2005 she arrived in Nairobi with her mother who had separated from her biological father. Her mother got into another relationship.

“My stepfather threatened to stop paying my fees and caring for me because I wasn’t his child. He said I had to pay him,” an emotional Grace said.

“One night he came into my room and insisted the lights should be off. He said he had used his money on me and it was time to pay back,” she said.

The reality slowly sank in.

“That’s how my dignity was taken away. He raped over and over. He threatened me. I was afraid of telling anyone, even my mother. I was a loner in school. I hid,” she said.

When she was seven years old, she gained courage and told her mother. She didn’t believe her.

Later, Grace told her uncle. But, he too turned on her and raped her.

“My uncle raped me twice. He threatened to tell the whole village if I spoke out,” Grace said.

He later died, and she was relieved.

“I was happy because he could not rape me again.”

Her stepfather continued molesting her. He threatened not to feed Grace’s siblings if she said no.

She agreed.

Finally, Her mother accused her of wanting to have sex with her stepfather.

She asked her why she wouldn’t run away. When she did, her mother brought her back.

“Mother became a drunkard. Some nights she never came home. I looked for her in bars. Thank God, my misery ended when my aunt rescued me,” she said.

Grace is now living in a rescue centre and is receiving counseling. Her stepfather was prosecuted. The case dragged on for seven years.

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