Young woman continues to feel the pain of abuse, three abortions and the urge to discontinue living

GETTING to age 20, for some, is often marked with celebration, but for one particular young woman it has been a journey fraught with bumps and even pitfalls, the memories of which have given rise to much self-doubt and thwarted efforts at success.

Molestation by a medical professional more than twice her age, abortion, and being shunned by family members are mere chapters in her battle to finding herself.

The abuse, she detailed, resulted in her being impregnated three times from ages 12 to 13. The first two pregnancies, she claimed, were aborted by the same doctor. The first abortion was done at six months. She said the last pregnancy was aborted by medical personnel at a hospital.

Her biggest remorse, which has resulted in her wishing she were dead, is the fact that she was too afraid to go forward with the matter to seek justice for herself. When the case was brought before the court, as a teen then, she indicated that she did not want to proceed.

The woman told the Jamaica Observer that since then her mind has fallen victim to thoughts about physically harming herself.

"I get up sometimes and say, 'God, I would rather you don't make me wake up.' I am stagnant. I say, 'God, why you bother to wake me up?' All of those things come to my mind sometimes. The sadness controls all of my mind and when I am trying to focus and do something, everything comes right back to my brain. And now it is affecting my schooling. When I start school I have to be stopping," she said, nostalgic of a time when she was overcome with pity.

"I wasn't able to finish school the way how it affected me badly. Not even one subject I didn't get. And from that, everything just messed up for me. I don't know what to do. And when these criminals do these things to you they are not thinking about you being left in mess. They are just looking at their side alone," she continued.

There were arguments that there was no forensic evidence or witnesses to support the allegations, and that the alleged victim suffered from a mental condition.

Pulling back the curtains, she said she first met the doctor back in 2014, when she left school and followed a friend to a hospital to visit her mother who was a pharmacist. At the time, she was a first form student.

"When I was coming back from in the hospital, I saw him standing there and he called me and asked me what's my name. I told him my name and he asked me if he could get my number. He never addressed me with anything out of order before… he just took my number. But after that, when he started to call me and text me, he started to bring up certain arguments. He asked me if he could meet me after school and when he met me after school that's when the contact started," she recalled.

"I was afraid to share it with my mother because my mother kinda have an anger in her, and she is kinda easy to get upset. So, I only told a doctor from a clinic. I only shared it with that doctor because she is calming and understanding. And that was after the two abortions."

In hindsight, she noted that she would have done everything differently. With that established, she told the Sunday Observer that she stayed quiet out of fear.

"I was very scared because how I looked at it is that if I tell anyone, he is going to do something to me. I was afraid of him. When I reported it to somebody at a clinic and CISOCA [Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse] was notified, he called my phone and said 'watch me and yuh.' That got me well, well scared. And then he told me that if I report him to anybody at all I am going to find myself dead," she claimed.

While she was being preyed upon, she added, her mother was in another parish, and she was living with her grandmother, whom she said was aware.

"I was 13. It affected me really bad. This impact changed my life. Each time I see how my life has changed and what it is now, it just brings back sad memories. It just affects my brain. When I see my life just destroyed and messed up, it is so stressful. Every day I get up and I'm unhappy. I'm hardly happy. It is really horrible and terrible," she told the Sunday Observer, noting that, despite the circumstances, she would've preferred to carry the child from the first pregnancy.

"I would rather to have that child than to know that it was aborted, because of what that abortion did to me. When I used to have my period, it was painful and terrible. And every minute my tubes were blocked. Doctors said it was because of the abortion. When I was tested, doctors told me that my reproductive organs were giving trouble. They also said there was a misbehaving of menstruation. The first pregnancy was six months… big whole pregnancy and I can tell you, him and another doctor pulled out the baby. A big, whole baby."

She recently decided to take another swig at academics, and was yet again left with relics from the most disturbing period of her life.

"Because of all these problems, I couldn't even focus and I was sent home. A teacher told me I have to get back to myself because as I am talking now, I just feel like I am not myself," she shared.

"I feel like I am not the person who I was before. My life was fine before this; everything was fine. But from that, everything just messed up," she stressed.

If none of that had happened, she pondered, her biggest struggle today would be trying to choose between two career paths.

"I was planning to go to school and get some subjects and then I was planning to go to college, because I was planning to become a doctor or a lawyer. So this just give me a bad lick. Mi just feel messed up. Sometimes I just have to stick to myself."

But there are those moments when she would appreciate the embrace and understanding of her family — which she is yet to experience.

"Some of my family, when they were supposed to help me, they turned against me. They are not seeing it as abuse. They just see it in another way. Their minds just think in another way. It is like they are saying I went and look man," she told the Sunday Observer.

"Young girls in similar situations will be reading this. I would advise them to get some counselling for all of that distress. That is the advice I want to give young girls who have been abused. I think there needs to be more prevention. For this new generation, if they don't put a stop to this kind of thing, it will continue. The same boys will grow and go around and do the same thing to other young girls, or even worse," she said.

Romardo Lyons

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