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“My adopted father molested me for seven years, night after night” – Toyin Falaiye

“My adopted father molested me for seven years, night after night” – Toyin Falaiye

May 1, 2023

I wasn’t this fluent in English and I always like to say this first in every conversation – I was a village girl. I was born in a small village in Akure and when I turned seven, my Father brought me to Lagos to visit his elder sister. So, I left my small dusty-little village to come to Lagos which had lawns, and beautiful streets. I saw a television for the very first time, and even though it was a black and white TV, I saw “oyinbo” on the television. That was fascinating to me. When it was time for my father to return to the village, I pulled up a tantrum and said I wasn’t going back. My aunt, who didn’t have a child of her own decided to adopt me. That was heaven on earth for me.

I excelled academically after starting school a year later. Miraculously, by the end of that first year, I had emerged as the top-performing student in my class. At age 10, I was raped by a neighbor’s son and as a young girl who had just left her village and was new to the ways of the city, I had no understanding of what it meant to be a virgin or to experience bleeding as a result of rape. I just felt a boy had injured me. After the incident, the neighbor scolded the boy and promptly sent him away. The neighbor then cleaned me up and warned me not to tell anyone about what happened. In hindsight, I wished my story ended there, and perhaps I could have passed it off as a mere child’s ignorance. However, the reality was much more complicated than that.

Two years later, my adopted father began to molest me, and that went on for seven years – Night after night. It’s almost always unbelievable to explain to people that there was someone who came for your body for seven years. The days I escaped being abused were the days when I started menstruating, those were the only days when my adopted father did not come for my body.

I’ve also had questions like, “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” – Well, I was threatened not to tell anyone, and that if I did, I would be sent back to the village and would die after seven days. I didn’t want to die and I didn’t want to go back to the village. Furthermore, despite attending a public school in Festac town, Lagos, I excelled academically and was already the brightest student in my class.

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