Hello! My name is Catherine Keith and I am 21 years of age. I come from a mix parentage of Madang & Morobe Provinces of Papua New Guinea. I am the eldest of (3) three girls. My second born sister is 19 years old while our youngest is 12 years old. This is how I lived through Rape and Child Abuse:

It is one thing to be abused and it is another to recover from it! It may be 9 years after the incident, but it can’t easily fade away if a family member still uses the incident as a weapon to hurt me. And if one abuse isn’t enough, I had several. Of all, I will be talking about the one that affected me the most.

I was only 12 years old, doing my year (6) six when I got abused by my 27 year old uncle in 2008.
Embarrassment wasn’t one of my weaknesses, due to the fact that I am a confident girl. I speak and talk openly to anyone & anything that’s bothering me. After the incident, that was a lifetime secret (except, my parents, siblings and neighbors who were present during the night of the incident, knew after police were alerted and arrived at the scene).

After 9 years, the scar still remains fresh due to the fact that my mother still uses the incident as a weapon to discriminate and hurt me. Home isn’t home if I do something that is disrespectful or not right. Walking or talking with male counterparts is categorized as another opportunity to be abused. Freedom was not an option if I was asked. I was banned from watching Television on my own or with any male in the house. Even just talking or riding alone with my dad in his car was a threat to my mum. I was not allowed to receive any allowance exceeding K20. If I was given such amount from my Father, that is considered bribe for some hidden reasons between my Father and I. God only knew what motives my Mother had behind all this treatment.

The same treatment went on and on for (6) six consecutive years. At times I cry myself to sleep. Alcohol & Cigarette became part of my life, I would drink and smoke just to get rid of the pain or to show my anger. The feeling of unwanted or useless was all I had left; I tried committing suicide via overdosing twice, but ended up being saved by my two younger sisters.
In 2015, my dad’s position in the company was made redundant. This was a big turning point in my parents’ life. We all started attending church service, participated in church activities but my Mothers attitude never changed, though little changes was seen.

Nevertheless, I still loved my Mother wholeheartedly. Whatever discrimination received, was taken as a challenge in life. Bad words came through one ear and went out the other, good was taken in. All I do today is pray, forgive and leave everything to the hands of the Lord.

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