A 21-year old resident at Mataheko in Accra says she has been forced to change her birthday because it was the day she suffered rape at the hands of a trusted friend.
“I met my friend and he said he has been looking for me to present a birthday gift at home..he told me he is going to give me a birthday gift I will never forget in my life”, she said in an interview wit Joy News Fred Smith.
Without second thoughts, she followed him home to find four other boys in his friend’s room.
She said two of the boys held her legs wide open, two others her hands, in a posture that left her helpless.
“It was my friend who started with the rape” she remembered the beginning of the gang rape but fails to remember the end as she fell unconscious.
Mariam was 14 years. And three months before she turned 15, the teenager delivered. The gift she got during the rape has now been given to another relative as a gift, Fred Smith reported.
The trauma has been scary for her and the family. The teenager has flirted with insanity at the thought of the ordeal, taunts from the rapists and a pussyfooting police service at Korle-Bu police station.
“I started behaving like a mad girl. I was down. Sometimes I would scream, I would shout. I was admitted to the Psychiatric hospital, moving from hospital to hospital, from medication to medication just to bring me back to normal”
She said her rapist sent messages through friends they will never be arrested. Their prediction has been spot-on.
“We were supposed to arrest them but the police are not willing to support. I don’t know why?.
“Sometimes we will go there with my father and report their whereabouts but the police[man] will say he is the only person in the station and cannot leave to arrest a mere criminal.”
Mariam said she has stood at the precipice of suicide at least four times.
“I drank parazone two times. I drank DDT once and I cut myself with a knife” she revealed a persistent desire to leave the world that appeared too small to contain her and her rapists.
But the tears of her parents, their fears of another attempt and the pumping of monies into medication and healthcare, got her to re-think her exit strategy.
“My mum and my dad they have done all that they could do. Even though I am the first child I am pampered like a last baby” she smiled.
And embrace life as her parents embraced her in her ordeal. My attackers are happy and roaming about. Why not me, she reasoned her way out of suicide.
Miriam said majority have come to accept rape as a minor crime in the Mataheko-Gaskiya Zongo community.
“I am not the first and am not the last. The way our hood is …gang rape is normal”.
Mariam is now 21-years. Her rape happened seven years ago. That non-consensual heterosexual ordeal has banished any romantic urge for men.
“I started having hatred for guys”, a cringing recollection of the incident had done a surgery on her sexual orientation.
Mariam is now a lesbian and she has been in the same-sex relationship for over year.