After being raped at 12, a Glen Norah girl is now living in self-imposed solitary confinement. The girl, who is now 13 years old, gave birth to a bouncing baby girl on November 28 following the alleged rape.
Her major problem is that she is now being shunned by her peers who are finding it difficult to come to terms with her new status.The mother of the girl said she now fears for her daughter’s life.
“She no longer leaves the house and I am afraid she will commit suicide if I do not find a solution soon,” said the mother.
“I can no longer do any business as I have been going around looking for a place for my daughter to learn as her previous schoolmates started alleging she was HIV positive.”
While other Form One pupils are poring over books, the 13-year-old is grappling with the hectic demands of motherhood.The girl’s mother said she has no choice but to treat her daughter’s baby as hers.
“I had three children, but now I have four,” she says.
Tragedy for the little girl started when she was allegedly raped by a tenant’s brother early this year when the two of them were left alone at home.The girl alleges that the man, who is in his 20s, locked her in his room and raped her once, while threatening her with death.She was raped for the second time two days later.
The girl said she did not report the case to her mother or the police for fear of reprisals.
“I was scared of reporting what had occurred and I had no idea who could assist me,” said the 13-year-old.
The mother said the rape only surfaced seven months later when relatives gathered for a family function.
“They commented on how my children had big bodies, but mentioned the girl in particular, which led me to investigate what was happening,” she said.
“I then called her into my room and she refused to divulge her problem until I beat her up, which then led to her revealing that she was seven months’ pregnant and identified the father.
“I never expected her to be pregnant at such a tender age.”
The girl told her mother that she had been threatened with death.
“She revealed that she had told the man of the pregnancy, but he had just kept quiet,” said the mother.
A family meeting was held to find a way forward and the mother alleges the man admitted responsibility, claiming that they were lovers. The man allegedly promised to marry the minor and take her to his rural home in Masvingo. It was only when he was handed over to the police that he made a U-turn and denied the charges levelled against him.The mother alleges that the man later attempted to clandestinely withdraw the charges at the police station.
“My stepdaughter, who later claimed to be the man’s girlfriend, went to the police station purportedly at my request in a bid to withdraw the charges, but failed,” the girl’s mother said.
The case went to court in November and the man was remanded in custody.
“We were shocked to see him walking around the neighbourhood with my stepdaughter three days later,” said the mother.
The man was supposed to appear in court on November 18, but he did not show up.He is now expected to appear in court on December 30.The girl’s mother, who is unemployed, said the case had left her baffled and helpless.She spends time following up on the case while at the same time trying to secure her child a place to continue with her education as she has been ostracised at her former school.
Incidents of minors getting pregnant either through rape or consensual sex seem to be on the increase.In September, a 13-year-old girl consented to sexual intercourse with a neighbour and fell pregnant. The Grade Six pupil was said to have been involved in a love affair with the married man since early January this year. The relationship only came to light after her late mother’s sister noticed her bulging stomach.