A guide.


“I was wearing pants, I had my legs covered; I had a long sleeved t-shirt on, covered those distracting shoulders we are always told not to show. I even had a coat on, and a belt. Nothing about what I was wearing stopped him.”

Everyday we are told how to dress to avoid being touched inappropriately or raped by men. Men that we are supposed to look up to, men that are supposed to be the head of the household, head of the church and the country. We are told every single day, “don’t wear that, it’s too revealing,” “or that, it’s too short,” “Not that, it’s too tight,” And even when we are modest, it doesn’t change the fact that they get to do what they want, when we are given guidelines on how to dress ourselves, in a world that we are supposedly free to do what we want.

She had her Hijab on, and that did not stop him from touching her, and taking something from her no one can ever return. Leaving her with nightmares and guilt for a crime she was made to believe that she had caused. It did not matter what she was wearing, it only mattered what he wanted, and he did not care how he got it.


“I wasn’t intoxicated. I wasn’t drunk. Actually, I don’t drink anymore at parties, I don’t smoke, I don’t do any activities legal for me anymore, because if I do, I am calling for rape.”

But he still did it. I wasn’t strong enough to push him away, but I was sober enough to feel every inch of his terrorist activity happen. I was sober enough to scream no and tell him I didn’t want to do it, but he went on anyway. I was awake, alive and was in the moment, every single thing he did, I felt it ten times more and finally I stopped fighting because he was not going to stop. I was in a losing battle.


“I wasn’t walking around aimlessly, I was walking home from work. I had made a name for myself. But I guess we don’t carry titles on our foreheads, or warning signs that tell the rapist, “Hey, I am not mindlessly wandering down this road, I know where I am going, so don’t rape me,” we don’t come with labels so I guess it was okay what he did. It wasn’t . It is not supposed to be my fault, I did everything I was told to do.

No matter how many times you tell us to protect, conserve, and cover ourselves, nothing changes if he doesn’t. If he isn’t taught to respect women, treasure women, especially since he came from one, the rape goes on. If He isn’t taught to keep it in his pants, that a no is a no, nothing changes. If he isn’t taught that a non-enthusiastic yes is not consent, nothing changes. If he isn't taught that phrases such as “I’m not so sure,” “I don’t feel like it,” “i’m not ready,” “get away from me,” “don’t do it” is a no, nothing changes. If he isn’t taught actions such as screaming, her shoving you away, her being drugged or intoxicated is a no, nothing is ever going to change. The numbers wont drop, rape cases won’t reduce.

Men need to learn, because we have tried to learn all this time just to go back to the same spot we were endlessly trying to get out of. Nothing, is an invitation or an excuse for rape. Nothing a girl does, or doesn’t do is a free invite to take advantage of her.

So if it happens, and I come to report it, don’t ask me what I was wearing, what I had that night, or where I was. Ask me if I’m hurt, in pain, or wounded. Ask me how he looked , what he was wearing and what he had. Then go find him, and arrest him. Find him and arrest him. Learn that. Remember that. Change.

Read next: The State
Shallom Kimanzi
See all posts by Shallom Kimanzi