Egyptian girl writes a letter to God calling for death of her rapist
Rapist was sentenced five years prison only
Family members did not believe Sarah
AMMAN-(AWMWC) March 5th.
A week ago, social media users in Egypt shared photos of the letter addressed to God by a nine-year-old girl, on her school note book. Two lined sheets of paper packed with clear writing in blue appear in the photos.
It was not her home work or dairies. It was a letter she wrote to God asking him to punish her uncle who raped her twenty times by death.
“Dear God, I want to tell you how I am feeling as none seems to realize what I am going through,” Sarah wrote.
In Egypt’s Said, where rape still invites stigma rather than sympathy, Sarah wrote a moving letter to God asking him to punish her uncle who raped her twenty times.
Sarah had reported being raped to her father and grandparents, but they did not believe and threaten to kill her.
“Dear God, please stand by my side, as I was afraid to tell my mother after my grandparents threatened to kill me and throw me off the mountain if I uttered a word,” she wrote.
Her mother, however, reported the incident as soon as she found out, despite tremendous pressure and threats from the family, said Intisar al-Saeed from Cairo Center for Human Rights who followed the case.
“They told her we can send her uncle away and give your daughter a house, but the mother refused to be silenced,” al-Saeed told AWMWC in a telephone interview.
Although rape allegations were proved, the rapist was sentenced for five years only, said al-Saeed, as primarily forensic tests showed the “girl did not lose her hymen.”
“Only vaginal rape is considered as rape according to the law. Other types of rape are considered as hitk arad [sexual assaults],” al-Saeed explained.
But her mother questions the results of the tests in the first place, according to al-Saeed.
Her mother, who still refuses to speak with media, is determined to appeal the cause, said al-Saeed.
“We think this is unfair sentence for a vicious crime.” She said.
Sarah was horrified and unable to communicate with others, al-Saeed recalls, when she visited the centre to report the incident.
“She was too scared to leave her mother even for a second,” al-Saeed said.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence remain unreported in Egypt, just like other Middle Eastern countries due to the social stigma associated with it.
“There are no statistics about rape in Egypt as women refrain from reporting due to the social stigma associated with it,” Al-Saeed noted.
Services for sexual violence survivors are inadequate and mainly centred in the capital, Cairo.
“Services are limited in rural areas,” she told Journomania.
“But when available, such services are not easily accessible by women in rural areas due to cultural and social restrictions,” she added.
In the letter, Sarah prays for the death of her rapist and father, not only for the pain caused but to the “shame” she had to endure.
“Dear God, please let him die because made me feel ashamed to face anyone,” Sarah concluded her letter.
Article By AWMWC reporter in Amman, Areej Abuqudairi
Photos credit Elwadynews.