Journalist. Writer. Researcher. Editor.

Why I didn’t report my rape #41 – I didn’t want to be “used goods”

“Get over it” were the first words that came out of my mother’s mouth. This was followed by a few grunts from my aunt, who said: “First you shame us with this behaviour and now you expect us to endorse you going to the cops to shame the entire family?”

This morning I realized that I never reported my rape, and not because I gave a damn about shaming the family. Many other members of our family had “shamed” the family before I did. In their case, some got pregnant after being accused of “opening their legs”.

I did not report the rape because I refused to be branded with a scarlet letter. I refused t
o have an unwanted child, so I did not want to be an unwanted woman later in life, what they termed “used goods”. I refused. As a black woman I knew that where ever I went I will always be known as the gal that “cried” rape instead of just telling the truth that I “opened my legs for him”. I refused to be called “used goods”. That is why I never reported my rape.