Justice Never Delays

My name is *Rebeka Zelalem. I am 27 years old. I was born in Addis Ababa. I have one sister and two brothers. My father died when I was little. When I was 5 my aunt took me to Adama city to live with her promising to my mother and sisters that she would help me attend my education. After a little while, she died. Then I started to live with her son and he started to beat me very badly and lock the door on me. One day he cut my lips with scissors then he poured a hot water onto my face. My face started bleeding and I was very sick. One day, when no one was home I unlocked the door and ran away. I started to live with people I didn’t know and he found me and took me back saying that he was family. My mother and my sisters at Addis Ababa heard that I was suffering. When they came to take me, he lied and told them that I was a teacher and that I wasn’t at home. Believing him they returned to Addis Ababa. He continued to beat me then my family called him and told him that they wanted to talk to me. Then he took me to Mojo city, rented a house and locked the door on me. He gave me one bread per day. I was afraid that I would die. One day I saw a person around the house fetching water, and then I shouted and called the man and told him everything then he called the police. I told them everything then they referred me to Addis Ababa safe house in 2008. But the perpetrator disappeared. Because of the trauma, I was sick and was treated in a hospital. After a year I got better and I was reintegrated with my family then I continued my education. At the beginning of 2018, I saw the perpetrator in a café around where I live. I went back home to look for help. I and my sister followed him and found his address then I reported to the police and he was arrested for the first time after 10 years. They took him to Adama city for the court process and until the case is finalized the police referred me to Adama safe house for my safety. I was able to follow up my legal case and the perpetrator was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
After the legal case was concluded, I reintegrated with my family and asked the court for an appeal and a civil case for my moral damage and it is ongoing.
“Even if it is delayed I got justice at last and I am happy about it!”
*name has been changed.

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