EDITOR’S note: For obvious reasons we withheld the name of the victim in this article. We felt the need to highlight this case so that action could be taken against perpetrators who violate the innocence of their children. We encourage persons who know of such incidents to report them to the police.
When Queen Ifrica released ‘Daddy’ (Don’t Touch Me There) in 2007, I shivered. I had never heard anything like it before. The chorus haunted me for days: “Daddy don’t touch me there, I’m gonna tell on you one day I swear. Can’t you see I’m scared? You’re supposed to be my father.”
The Jamaican songstress highlighted the brutal reality many girls face and for some, ‘Daddy’ was a godsend.
When I started writing Claudia Davis’ story, that’s not her real name, Ifrica’s song came to mind. It remained there for minutes and I couldn’t shake the terrible feeling that came with it. Claudia revealed her shocking truth to me recently and my heart sank.
I had interviewed women like her before and in that moment I realized that this was just the beginning of my journey. Somehow, I knew I’d meet more women like Claudia and it broke my heart but it also filled me with hope because their stories, possibly, could change lives.
She was a pleasant woman with incredible strength and my heart went out to her.
“When I was about 14 years old my dad was having sex with me but I didn’t really understand it. I didn’t know what sex was like because that was the very first time it happened,” Davis said.
“My siblings and I never really socialized with boys; my mom always kept us inside. She didn’t tell us anything about sex and my teachers didn’t either. In the 70’s teachers didn’t tell you these things,” she explained.
Those who know Claudia couldn’t possibly imagine what she went through. There were no signs; Claudia carried her father’s dark secret for years and buried it deep inside. According to her, she just couldn’t tell them the truth, especially family members. How could she tell her family that her own father had raped her?
“I don’t want my family to know because they will ask me why now? Why didn’t I speak to them about it earlier? I don’t want them to feel bad,” Davis said solemnly.
When her father passed away a few years ago, she wept bitterly.
“I cried because in spite of what he did, he was my dad,” the 50-year-old shared.
She continued: “My dad used to beat me a lot for no reason and he wanted me to do everything at home even though there were others there. I was always a quiet child and sometimes I would just stay there and cry but nobody ever knew what I was crying about.”
“I’m free now, I don’t hate him for what he did. I remember but I don’t dwell on it; I am doing alright,” she added.
Davis wants persons with similar stories to know that there’s a brighter tomorrow.
“Pray a lot and if you have to cry whilst you’re praying, do that, that’s okay, it helps. I’m free. If it still affected me I would not have a partner and I would not have children; I would have been afraid if a man touched me,” she said.
“Some people say there is no God but there is a God; He answers my prayers all the time. It’s important for people to pray: pray before you leave your house, you could even pray on the bus—everywhere you go you have to pray,” Davis added.