Sunday, 24 August 2014

A 19-year-old girl tested to be HIV positive after she was gang-rap'd by five men in Lagos

A 19-year-old girl simply identified as Helen who was tested to be HIV positive after she was gang-rap ed by five men in Lagos has recounted her ordeal.


Helen

Helen who paid her elder sister in Lagos shares her story with The Nation below

HELEN (surname withheld) will be 20 years on October 10. But she now bears a burden that is too heavy for her age. She was gang-ra ped in January this year and was diagnosed with HIV last month.

After secondary school in 2008, Helen wanted to further her education, but being the fifth of 11 children comes with its own challenge. However, determined that she would return to school some day, she began working as a cleaner in a big firm at Lekki, Lagos,from where she hoped to save for school. She had worked there for almost a year before the tragic episode that altered her life dramatically took place. It was with a deep emotion that she recounted her ordeal.

All was quiet and the street lonely early that Tuesday morning when the unsuspecting lady set out from her Bariga home to resume her morning shift at work. It was at exactly 5:05am, the same time she often left home everyday to board a bus some streets away to Lagos Island.
 But that morning, something was not right. She noticed five young men lurking about as she got out of her street’s gate. On seeing their fearsome appearance, her heart skipped a beat. Consumed by fear, her first instinct was to turn and run back into the street, but it was too late. She had been spotted.

“They blocked and grabbed me. They pointed a gun at me and told me to be quiet and do everything they said I should do, or else they would harm me,” Helen said before she was overcome by emotion.

After a short silence that seemed ages, she added: “I tried to shout but when I looked around and did not see anybody except those guys, I was so afraid and did as they said… They, then, carried me to one corner by the side of the street… (She bowed her head). They asked me to lie down.”

Helen went silent again with head still bowed, to hold back tears. She said: “I begged them to release me, that I was on my way to work and that I didn’t have anything to offer them. They told me to shut up, saying they would waste me, if I didn’t like my life.

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