I am 13 years old. I saw him as a father. He clothed me, fed me, and schooled me.
As my father, I did not hesitate to do what he asked me to do like an obedient child, except those nights when he would touch me inappropriately. I flinched when his large hands would cover my upper chest.
I felt helpless as his dominating adult body overwhelmed my small child's body-frame. I turned my face, cried and then played dead to stop the pain.
He tells me to be "quiet like a good girl" and "this is our secret”; "don't tell no one" as I lay there in pain and feeling confused. I am 13.
Should my father be doing this to me? Soon after my helpless body was touched and penetrated, I started to feel weak, tired and sick. I am 13.
I went to school and fainted. I knew something was wrong with me but who I tell when it seems like everyone is looking at me "funny."
I was told that I am pregnant?" pregnant"?
What is that?
Quickly, I was removed from my home in the city and taken back to the village. I am surrounded by family but I am scared.
People are talking but I am scare. I keep my face down. Who can I trust? Do they know what happened? As my belly slowly extrude for nine months, I am petrified. "
They say I was "bad girl!”
I am beginning to think that I am. At night, I cried and feel anxious. I am afraid of how this thing is going to come out of me. I feel excruciating pain.
It is almost like the pain I felt before but worse. My tiny body has to push out a baby.
They tell me I had a baby, I am still in pain. I am 13.
My body is not working like it used to; I am urinating and defecating uncontrollably as if my body can no longer take the pain.
Will this pain ever go away? I am told not to talk like I was told before. I keep my face down.
I was betrayed. The big people failed me. Who can I trust to protect me? Can I trust you?
I am 13 years old, I am Regina, I am your daughter and one of countless of girls that are sexually abused every day in Liberia.
Francien Chenoweth Richarddon,