A 15-Years Old Mentally ill Girl Raped By A Family Friend
Deborah Jolaosho was in JSS2 when a family friend took advantage of her vulnerability to rape her. Now pregnant and abandoned by the rapist, she tells her story to Motunrayo Aboderin.
“I’m going through pains. My back is hurting. I can’t sleep well and I don’t have appetite for food. I don’t have friends any longer and I rarely go out of the house. It feels as if my world has come to an end. Every day, I blame myself for allowing this to happen. Probably if I had fought him, I wouldn’t be pregnant. I’ve brought shame to my family.”
Read the sad experience of this 15-year-old girl below…
There was no sign of an impending danger when Rachel Jolaosho sent her slightly mentally challenged daughter, Deborah, to go and get a drum from a family friend’s house in Meiran, a community along the border between Lagos and Ogun States. To her, it was a routine errand to task her daughter’s understanding of her world.
But danger was actually lurking because Taju Adejumo, a friend of the Jolaoshos who was to give the drum to Deborah, was not as virtuous as he seemed. He allegedly preyed on the girl’s mental weakness, taking her to a room in his house before tying the 15-year-old girl’s hands and legs and raping her. He reportedly told her not to tell anyone and that if she did, death would visit her in seven days.
Deborah who is now seven months pregnant showed signs of being pregnant and when her mother noticed changes in her appearance and failing health, she queried her and realised that her daughter had been abused by the alleged sex offender. Deborah says her life has been sent on a path she did not prepare to tread.
Her nightmare is also multiplied by the alleged constant verbal attack from Adejumo’s wife whenever they meet on the street.
“Any time I step out of our house, Adejumo’s wife rains curses on me. She has said terrible things to me. I try to move around the community so that I can ease my pains and take time off my sorrow but Adejumo’s wife is always waiting for me, she doesn’t allow me to go out again, I feel really bad,” Deborah cries.
Adejumo, who accepted his crime against the teenager, no longer wants to be associated with Deborah. The Jolaosho’s say the alleged rapist has abandoned Deborah, a position that is attested to by the victim. She says Adejumo treats her like filth.
“When I see him on the street now, he walks past me without saying a word. He hasn’t even offered to pay for my hospital bills. My parents have spent so much money on my antenatal care but he simply walks away from his responsibility after raping and impregnating me. Earlier, when my parents found out about the pregnancy and confronted him, he made promises that he would pay for my hospital bills and take care of the child after I give birth,” she states.
Deborah, who dreamt of becoming a nurse before the incident, says her dreams had been put on hold. “I like studying and I had a lot of dreams before I was raped. My focus has always been to excel in school but Adejumo has robbed me of my joy as a girl. I was a member of the Red Cross club in my school, Meiran Community Junior High School, Lagos. I was also a member of the choir in my church. But with my present position, I can’t take part in the activities of these groups any longer. I feel bad each time I see my friends playing, knowing that I cannot join them in the task. I don’t know how they feel about me now.”
But Deborah has not given up on a better future. She expresses determination to overcome her plight and move on with life. She also has plans for her baby.
“I’m determined to complete my studies. It may not be easy, but I will try my best. I hope to give my child the best in life. I can’t allow the baby to suffer,” she says.
She is not alone in her grief; the family have been grossly upset by Adejumo’s act. Deborah’s mother says the incident casts shadows on her ability as a mother.
She says, “I cried for hours the day I found out my daughter was raped. And to compound the problem, the man who did it was a friend of the family, I respected him before he showed the other side of himself. Sometimes I confided in him about some personal issues. I never thought he could do such a terrible thing.
“I cry each time I look at my daughter now. I can imagine the pain she is facing. No mother would ever wish this sort of life for her 15-year-old daughter. She is still young. Her body isn’t prepared for this. She doesn’t eat much. I’m always begging her to eat. This is not the type of life I dreamt for my daughter.”
When asked what she wanted from the rapist, Deborah’s mother answers, “Adejumo has to pay us back the total money we have spent on Deborah’s antenatal. He must take responsibility for his action. He must also take care of my child’s education.”
Adejumo, who claimed he was embarrassed by his action, had promised the Jolaosho family that he would take care of Deborah. But according to the family, he has since shied away from his responsibility.
Funny enough, when Punch contacted Adejumo, he claimed that he has been trying. Hear him:
“I have being fulfilling my responsibility. On several occasions, I’ve offered the family money but they refused to collect the money. On January 4, I offered the family N1, 000 [One Thousand Naira only] but they did not collect it. And on January 22, I gave the father some money but he turned down my offer. I don’t know what they want me to do. I have tried my best,” he said.