By Labiba Raida
Edited by Labiba Raida and Adeeb Chowdhury
I woke up, drenched in sweat, gasping for breath, terror stricken. I still had nightmares from that dark night, the night my confidence shattered into pieces, the night I had to give up on my self-respect. I still wonder what my fault was. Was working hard amongst other men to get my rightful place wrong? Or was it just because I am a girl?
Yes, I am a girl. Yes, I was raped. Yes, it was no one but my colleagues. No, I didn’t give them any sign. No, I wasn’t wearing anything that should a hint of my thighs or cleavages. No I am not the one to be blamed. Yes, I did fight, but it was five against one, which wasn’t right.
I always wondered how I got to be the executive of the marketing department even after having mere qualifications. I was first startled by how much I had underestimated myself. I was happy to be burdened with loads of work, staying late at the office working, thinking that I was finally self dependent and soon going to be self-sufficient. Loaded with so much work, I felt grateful when my male colleagues helped me out now and then. They always gave me the warm feeling, the one you get from your brothers. However not everyone is like how you think they are. The night of 1 June 2015, I was working late in the office like every other night, but the exception was I was accompanied by my boss and four other male colleagues. At first I found it strange, that they were going out of their way to help me get done with the work but then I thought maybe they were just the good people.
I was working in my cabin, when my boss crept in and put his hands over my shoulder. Cold fear gripped over me. Before I could turn to my defense, I was already surrounded by five men ready to take away my self-respect, shatter my confidence. It’s hard to describe what happened next but it is also essential for people all around the world to know how women are harassed, tormented, molested not only sexually but mentally too. I tried my level best to prevent what happened next. I even had managed to knock down two of them but then my emaciation took over me.
Three of them got hold of me, and other two stood in front of me, undid their own belt buckle, and unzipped their jeans. I could sense the pain inside me, hear their rhythmic grunts. My body felt irascible, unchaste. My heart was giving up on me. I kept screaming in an ear piercing voice but it didn’t help. That night I lost my faith in clemency, lost my faith in humanity.
To Be Continued
About the Author
Chief Editor of the Gender Equality department
Labiba is a student at CIDER International school.
She describes herself as a bibliophile,
conversationalist , and logophile.