From a very young age, Sabah Kaiser knew the words for shame, modesty and respect as they were drummed into her – but she didn’t know the names for her body parts.
Sabah was sexually abused between the ages of seven and 13 by four members of her family and was raped for the first time when she was nine.
“When I was a child, what they were doing to me was beyond comprehension. I could not explain or even understand what they were doing to me,” she told HuffPost UK.
“Within my Asian upbringing, it was normal to hit a child. So my only understanding was that this was the way these men hit and I thought I must be a terrible person.”
By the age of 13, Sabah knew what was happening to her was wrong and tried to tell a teacher at school who informed police and social services.
During her interview with the police, a 13-year-old Sabah was asked by one of the female police officers: “Has anyone had intercourse with you?”
Sabah says her knowledge about sex was very limited and told the police officer she didn’t know what intercourse meant.
The reply from the police officer was: “If you don’t know what that word means, then it can’t have happened to you.”
“While I knew what had happened to me was wrong, I did not know the words for parts of my body, nor did I know what sex was.” said Sabah.