The person in this picture is not the actual victim
My name is Sandra Bentum. I’m 15 years old and the second child of my parents of four.
If you’re a girl and reading this, I plead with you to take my sad story as advice so that you do not end up like me.
Life was very hard right from my childhood. My parents had an unstable financial environment. And we barely could have a three square meal a day.
My mother was a petty trader who halks tomatoes in Kumasi market, and my father was a laborer.
We lived in an uncompleted building as caretakers of my father’s friend’s uncle’s house. There was no electricity or water in the house.
When I became of age at 13, my elder sister was 16 at the time. We both will help my mother to sell tomatoes at Kejetia when we close from school. We’ll also join her in the market during weekends. At times, when the market was really bad and my mother does not come home with money, one of use would absent from school to join our mother on the market the next.
We were helping ourselves as a small family of six all to get food to eat.
Things get started to get really tough when I reached 15 years.
The owner of the uncompleted house sacked us from the house alleging that my father has a quarrel with his nephew who was my father’s friend about money.
We had nowhere to go. We searched for another uncompleted building at Abuakua and fortunately found one. We stayed there without permission from the owner of the building.
The floor and walls of the building were not plastered. We had to sleep in the sand because we had nowhere else to go.
At this age, I had just been enrolled in JHS 1. I was going to school with an empty pocket and buying books was very difficult. My senior sister had completed JHS and was staying home because there was no money for her to go to SHS.
I had two close friends in school, Beatrice and Asieduwaa. They knew my plight so they helped me sometimes to share the food they bought in school during break time.
This continued into the second term in my first year in JHS. I and my two friends had become very close to the extent that, we were practically doing everything together.
One day, they introduced me to Clement Kwateng who was an SHS three student in Kumasi. They told me he will give me money for food and some to buy books. I was scared to have a boyfriend but they convinced me there was nothing to be afraid of. It was at this time where they introduced their boyfriends to me who were also friends of Clement Kwateng.
They added that the money they spend in school were given to them by their boyfriends. I told them I was still not interested in having a boyfriend. From that day, they stop sharing their food with me and rarely talked to me.
I could no longer contain the hunger in school so I agreed to be Clement’s girlfriend.
From that day, he was giving me GHC 3 for school every two days. I was so happy and I began to fall in love with him.
We were dating and everything was normal until he started asking me to visit him in the house. I kept postponing her request because I was afraid his parents would catch us. He told me he will take me to his friend’s house whose parents were not there.
It was one Saturday afternoon, I told my mother that I was not feeling well so I could not join her at the market. She went with my elder sister.
When they left, I sneaked my way to Clement’s friend’s room. He went to call him that I had come.
When he was coming, he had bought fried rice and chicken and canned malt for me. I ate the food and after that, he sat closer to me.
He started telling me how beautiful I was and started talking about not leaving me for any other girl. He told me how much he loves me and how he can’t live without me.
He began to touch me. I told him to stop but he convinces me that he’ll give me more money and love me more if he slept with me. I told him I was a virgin and he said that will even make her marry me in the future.
We had s3x, and it was very painful. I complained about the pains and he said it was because I was a virgin doing it for the first time.
Two weeks later, he invited me to the same place and slept with me again.
A year later, I didn’t hear from him no more. I asked my two friends and they told me his parents had come for him abroad.
Two years later, my parents have put me an apprenticeship to learn seamstress.
I was falling sick all the time.
My madame reported me to my parents about the sickness and they took me to the hospital. They run a series of tests on me including pregnancy tests.
Finally, they tested for HIV and I was positive. My parents rejected me right at the hospital in the doctor’s office as he sat us down to advice us and how I could be put on drugs to live a healthy life.
When I got home after my parents had angrily left me at the hospital, my clothes were thrown outside to leave the house.
For the past month, I’m now homeless, very sick and left to fight my fate alone.