It was middle of the night. I felt the strange hands making its way under my shirt. Slowly. Until it found its target. He started groping my breasts. My body stiffened. I wanted to shout no. I wanted to remove the hands but I would wake up my mother. So I turned my back on him so he’d let go. But then he found my buttocks. I wanted to cry. But it would wake my mother up. I desperately waited for the morning, for everyone to wake up. For two nights, I suppressed my voice, my tears, my courage. I was about 14 years old.
On the third night, I refused to go back to that house.
Up until today, only two people knew about this. One is my husband. Looking back, I knew I made the right decision. My father would have killed him. I think I had spared the family another burial that day.
Unfortunately I had to deal with these kinds of sexual abuse in most of my teenage life and a few times in my adult life. These were the small incidents, or what I thought were small incidents. The cousins who embraced and kissed me without my permission and tried several times to grope my breasts, the boss who stole a kiss when he thought I was the only one in the office, that other boss who thought I would sleep with him because we shared the same hotel room (I hope he died of his cancer already. The tourism world would be a much safe place without him), that guy in the bus who put his elbow on the arm rest while I was sleeping too close my breasts, that guy who masturbated beside me and classmates in the cinema, that guy in the train who stood too close behind me.