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How I Almost Got Raped (+ What To Do In The Event)

In my fourth year in the university, I had what may qualify as my scariest life experience.

In my fourth year at the university, I had what may qualify as my scariest life experience.

You see, year four is that dreaded year in medical school that your senior colleagues attempt to mentally ready you for. It is nicknamed the toughest year in medical school; the year that when you get past you are certain you will survive medical school. In fact, anything life brings your way.

It is the year of Pathology and Pharmacology. Pathology is so broad you can be overwhelmed especially toward your professional exam. Pharmacology, on the other hand, can be hard to recall, and the poor test scores can double your doubt that you will eventually pass.

From the first day of my fourth year, I began to work hard. I listened attentively during lectures, read at night in my room, and sometimes in the classroom. It was on one of those nights that I almost got raped.

A lot of my course mates read in the classroom at night. On this particular night, I assumed they were going to be there too. I didn’t call anyone to confirm before packing my bags and heading out to study.

Annie Ejiofor's near-rape incident and what to do after a rape experience

It was our classroom. A small class in an isolated part of the hospital, and situated opposite the mortuary (Not to worry, that was the least of our concerns). There were aggressive mosquitoes to combat with, and it was for this reason that my course mates had to find an alternative classroom to study in, but I didn’t know of this.

On that night, I arrived to meet an empty classroom. Not a single person was present. The classroom was lit, as it usually was.

I must have arrived at about 8 pm. On meeting the empty classroom, I thought to wait a while, to charge my devices, and see if some of my course mates would turn up.

“I will go somewhere else at ten,” I decided, “if no one else comes tonight.”

It was a small class like I said. With minimal room for movement, and the windows were barricaded. There were two doors, however, both on the same side; one in front and the other behind.

I was seated in front, by the window, and opposite the front door. Then I heard some movement behind. A shuffling of feet. I turned but didn’t see anyone.

The first alarm went off in my head: It is time to leave. I began packing my books and shutting down my laptop.

Then he walked in through the front door. I stilled myself and wore a calm facade. He walked toward me and sat beside me.

I can’t remember our conversation or if there was one. Next thing I remember, we were standing in front of the classroom. I was wrangling my arms from his hands and thinking about the fastest means of escape.

He overpowered me and I lay with my back to the ground and him over me.

A lot was going through my mind. I could see the dirt on his body but what worried me more were the possible infections he carried that I couldn’t see.

I may have pleaded with him and tried to distract him. I may have screamed also. I’m not sure.

While he held me, he attempted to remove his trousers and my jeans.

Midway, he released my arms and apologized to me.

“My mum must be up praying for me this night,” I thought.

I was more concerned with leaving the classroom than listening to him, but I still had to be calm. He could change his mind.

We walked toward the hospital, as I desperately sought where to go. I lived in an apartment in Aluu, a community close by. I could not go home.

I was eventually able to ward him off, and when I couldn’t find a good place to read in the hospital, I went to the house officers’ quarters.

It was a frightful and emotionally traumatizing night.

Rape Explained

Rape is defined as sexual intercourse without the expressed consent of the victim.

It is a hurtful experience; one capable of affecting the victim physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially.

Although what I had was a near-rape experience, I vividly remember the aftermath.

I earlier loaded my system with caffeine to help me stay awake, but I dozed mercilessly afterwards, up until morning.

I didn’t find the friend whose room I hoped to stay in and ended up sitting outside in the quarters’ lobby.

Thankfully, I found a chair and table to sit on or someone was kind enough to give me one. I don’t remember. I was emotionally and psychologically worn out.

“What would you have done if you were raped?” a friend asked me when I relayed my ordeal to him. I listed a couple of things and he said, “Oh, you know what to do.”

As rape can happen to anyone and at unexpected times, I thought to share a few of the things I know should be done after a rape incident, amidst the confusion and pain.

1. Go to the hospital

Don’t wash. Go to the hospital the way you are after the event. On the same day of the event. Washing erases the evidence your doctor may need.

In the hospital, you will be examined and comprehensively managed.

Here are some things that will be done:

  • Important investigations,
  • Treatment of any injuries,
  • Administration of emergency contraception,
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV/AIDS,
  • Administration of anti-hepatitis B virus immunoglobulin,
  • Prophylactic treatment against other sexually transmitted diseases,
  • Psychotherapy,
  • Counselling and follow up.

2. Report to the appropriate authorities

Most persons after a rape incident are reluctant about reporting to the appropriate authorities. This may be explained by shame and fear of being judged and or victimized. But this should not be so.

Rape is a criminal offence in Nigeria and there are laws guiding it. It is important to get acquainted with the law to ensure that justice is obtained and duly served to the perpetrators of the wicked act.

Did you know the penalty for rape in Nigeria under the Criminal code is life imprisonment and a maximum of 14 years imprisonment under the Penal code?

Know your rights and enforce it.

3. Tell your story

Reporting the incident can be hard and choosing to tell your story even harder.

But regardless of the events surrounding the incident and the outcome, it’s important that you share your story with others. You never know what they can learn from your story.

“We are not what happened to us in the past. We are who we choose to become by either rising above the events or letting them put us under.” – Annie Ejiofor

“It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.” – Iyanla Vanzant

“When we share our stories, what it does is, it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey.” – Janine Shepherd


What are your thoughts on rape? In your opinion, what can be done to halt the increasing incidence of rape and to help the victims?

Love,

Annie.

Ps:

Some organisations online that can provide assistance with rape:

1. Mirabel Centre, a project of Partnership for Justice where rape and sexual assault victims can access free forensic medical and counselling services.

2. International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, a non-governmental, non-profit organisation made up of women lawyers, with an aim to enhance and promote the welfare of women and children.

3. Women At Risk International Foundation, WARIF, a non-profit organization incorporated in 2016 in response to the high incidence of sexual violence, rape and human trafficking occurring amongst young girls and women across Nigeria.

Pps: Know more of these organisations, have more information that can be of great help? Please leave details below. Thank you.

By annieejiofor

Hello. I'm Annie, a Nigerian, medical doctor, IELTS coach, freelance editor and the voice behind the writing.

I blog about life within and without medicine and other lifestyle topics like books, travel and helpful advice for medical professionals.

15 replies on “How I Almost Got Raped (+ What To Do In The Event)”

Rape is a very sensitive issue, Dr Annie, and I admire your courage to share your story. I had one experience that I wasn’t quite sure qualified as rape but reading this post reinforced the fact that I was indeed almost raped as well. Because, consent, and expressed consent.

Going to the hospital after rape cannot be overemphasised. I feel terrible when I hear of cases where the victim got pregnant or contracted HIV as a result.

PS. It may be helpful to include some info on hospitals that handle rape cases e.g Doctors Without Borders

Liked by 1 person

Nice one, my happy neonate, (am sure u know who! Lol) indeed its a horrible experience, i had 2 near experience, 1 i fought for close to 2hrs with the guy (thank God for supernatural strength) and the other was at gun point, but God used 1 of the robbers as my ‘saviour’. The trauma is truly lifelong i must say, a lady that did all the above, and the perpetrator got a jail time of 14 years, after serving time, she stumbled upon this same dude as a chorister in the church(he must have turned a new leaf, mayb maybe not) and memories relived as clear as day. Finally the holyspirit is a great comforter in issues as sensitive as this. Big hugs to any1 out there that is a victim to this horrid crime.

Liked by 1 person

Rape is a cruel act.

Like you said, it can happen to anyone. Which is why I often wonder why there’s still some degree of stigmatization towards rape victims.

The fear of possible stigmatization explains why most victims are reluctant to speak to anyone.
Consequently, many perpetrators escape punishment,and continue to pose huge threat to the society.

To stop the trend, multi-faceted and strict measures would have to be put in place. May we get it right!

Liked by 1 person

Your Mum was definitely praying for you that night girl. I wouldn’t even pray that my worst enemy go through the experience, it’s such a dreadful one.

Thank you for sharing your story and enlightening others. I feel there are no adequate measures put in place to curb rape in our society. Nevertheless, we must keep up with the enlightenment to prevent others from falling a victim.

https://www.naomidestiny.com

Liked by 1 person

Dr. Annie… this is so insightful.
I think it was very key you remained calm, only God knows what could have happened.

“We are not what happened to us in the past. We are who we choose to become by either rising above the events or letting them put us under.” – Annie Ejiofor: This one touched me!

Thanks for sharing plus your blog is beautiful 🙂

Liked by 1 person

I’m not sure how I haven’t read this already! Rape is such a barbaric act, and I can’t imagine how you must have felt when he tried to subdue you; I am glad it never got to happen.

The information in the latter part of this post is also very relevant. Thank you for sharing, and it is always a pleasure to read your work!!

Always a fan,

Chiazor xx

Liked by 1 person

Sorry for your horrendous experience.
Rape is indeed a vicious offence, and shouldn’t be seen as a specific shade of sex. It’s important we do more to address the issue of rape especially in this part of the world where men have historically used sexual violence to overwhelm women and that in most countries they still do. We all have sisters and daughters and must speak out to protect their future in a society like ours, in which women are vastly more likely to experience abuse committed by men.
Nevertheless, we should also try and move away from the traditional definition of rape that focused only on the male as perpetrators of this crime just because of the notion that they’re always wanting sex or are less vulnerable.
The recent rape description has no particular gender mentioned. This is because over the yrs there have been rising cases of men being victims of sexual violence far more often than was previously known by researchers.
Interestingly, this was proved by a data collected under the prison rape elimination act, for men in prisons and boys in detention, which showed that the staff perpetrators are overwhelmingly female.
A 3yrs survey on a violent crime carried out by the US Bureau of Justice statistics also found out that female perpetrators were reported in over 30% of rape incidents involving male victims.
There have also been cases of minors being sexually assaulted after their parents left them in the care of maids or even female neighbours. Most victims who experience childhood sexual abuse at the hands of both women and men are more reluctant to disclose the victimization perpetrated by women.
There are cases of minors raped in female dormitories. These have continued to happen in many government girls colleges across the country.
Even as we fight against rape, we shouldn’t also downplay the circumstances where some of the perpetrators are females. We should do more in terms of punishing these offenders irrespective of the gender, and also create effective measures that will help prevent any form of stigmatization toward the crime victims.

However, thanks for the great job you’re doing, Dr Annie.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you, Victor. Yes, you made a valid point. As at the time of writing this post, Abuja was the only city in Nigeria were males were recognized rape victims. Thankfully, we have made progress since then as a nation, more awareness have been raised and males are acknowledged as victims of sexual abuse and rape too.

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