A South African rape survivor has narrated how her father was made to pay for raping her over the course of 12 years and impregnating her.
Zizo Apleni, 24, has encouraged women to speak out against gender violence by using her story as an example. She decided to speak about her rape ordeal at the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Zizo, who authored the book “My Father Took My Innocence”, said she was raped by her father between 2001 and 2013. She said she used to visit her father often and she was seven when the first incident occurred.
As I was young, I didn’t know what he was doing was wrong. I only found out what he was doing after our hostel manager taught us not to have sex with our boyfriends.
When I got home, I told my father what our hostel manager told us. He started threatening me and said I should never report it, because no one would believe me.
Zizo obeyed her father and kept silent. It wasn’t until she got pregnant in 2013 that her mother became aware of it.
I told her my father had been raping me for years. We reported it to the police and he was bust the same day.
I was helped to abort the baby.
In 2016, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. My mum was very supportive.