Fourteen-year-old Jane (not real name) stared at her feet as she recounted her four-year ordeal in the hands of a neighbour, Felix Emmanuel, an Edo State indigene, who took advantage of her innocence.
At 14, she explained that if she knew that the threats that had kept her quiet from disclosing what she was going through were mere lies, she would have told her mother about what was happening to her before it went on for too long.
Fair-complexioned with sadness clearly showing in her eyes, there was no doubt that Jane had suffered, in silence, as her single mother was none the wiser about the regular s*exual abuse her daughter was being subjected to.
“He (Emmanuel) first r*aped me in 2011 when I was 10 years old. He brought out a calabash with cowries in it and told me that if I told anybody, I would die within 24 hours,” she told Punch, sobbing.
Her mother comforted her and urged her on.
Jane has lost her father but care for the family fell on her struggling mother, Margaret, who also regretted that she did not notice the abuse her daughter was subjected to over the last four years.
Jane, a senior secondary year one student, lives in the same compound with Emmanuel, a 28-year-old unemployed secondary school drop-out, in Egbeda area of Lagos.
The girl told Saturday PUNCH, “The first time he r*aped me, my mother sent me on errand. I was passing by his room on my way back when he called me.
“I did not know what he wanted from me, but I answered him. But as soon as I stepped in the door, he covered my mouth and dragged me to an unoccupied room in the building.