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The Many Faces of Coercion

“Was I watching a stage play in my favourite theatre? Why was there so much light and noise around me? Hang on, seems the spotlight is on me.”

These I thought as I slowly opened my eyes, only to see that I am lying in a corner of a busy street where street children frolic happily with the promise the mountain of uncollected rubbish before them brings.

The problem is not that I could not remember what happened, but rather that I could not forget it.

Before the stench of the rubbish and the honking of public transport, there was a huge bed in a fancy, cold room. In that bed, there was me, lying helplessly, naked and summoning death. My heart was bellowing and my body was stiffening involuntarily. In my head, I was trying hard to stop the inevitable with my bare hands. Physical weakness conquered me; that, and the heavy weight on top of me paralysed me like an old tree whose roots were so deep into the earth.

I called upon all the saints whose names didn’t escape me despite years of agnosticism. I was begging them to kill me so I wouldn’t have to endure the torment. But there was I- alive, stoic, and actively doing my best to deny this ogre the pleasure from coercion.

The painful reality trampled my hope like an overwhelming scourge of misery. The naked animal has started thrusting ferociously, delaying orgasm by gratifying himself with periodic masturbation. Soon, my fate was completed. I was helpless. I was at his mercy and no amount of faith in an antediluvian belief could have removed me from that moment.

Then it was dawn. I feel that I lived again to witness not just the rising of the sun but more importantly the state of the poor children competing with flies as they scavenge for food in the dump. Dizzy and trembling just thinking about the amount of semen deposited in my body the night before, I noticed for the first time the malnourished children gathered around me. They helped me get back to my feet.

Since then, I have been standing up for street children, young girls most especially that are coerced by economic circumstances to prostitute themselves at a very young age. The streets have claimed me and to a great extent have brought me back to life.


pheebsabroad's picture


Sometimes surviving is a feat in and of itself, I am glad to see that not only did you survive but you have thrived. Converting your pain into a positive change for those around you is a huge step! I applaud your efforts and only hope that I can mirror them in a small way. What a great example you set for those of us around you...


Myrthe's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story. I admire your strength and your ability to turn a horrible situation into something positive. Like Pheobe said above, you are an example for others.

eapa's picture

Phoebe and Myrthe, Thank you

Phoebe and Myrthe,

Thank you for the very kind words. Knowing that I am not alone in this, that women like you in different parts of the world support and believe in me make me even stronger.

Indeed it is easier to be destructive- both to self and to other people because of this awful thing that happened to me. Many uglier things happen in this world all the time. But we do want change and therefore we have to believe that we human beings are capable of loving and helping each other more than we are capable of harming others.


ccontreras's picture

Your story is so powerful!

I cannot begin to imagine how you must have felt at this terrifying moment but I commend you for standing on your feet and moving forward. I am sure many women around the world (and girls) would be very touched by your story and can probably relate to it. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

"I embrace emerging experience. I am a butterfly. Not a butterfly collector." - Stafford

eapa's picture

CContreras, thank you for

CContreras, thank you for your comment. And yes, you are right, often standing on one's feet is one thing and moving forward another. Thank you again.

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