LISBON (Reuters) – A pregnant woman who was raped by her husband when she was nine years old, her two young children and a baby girl, has spoken of the pain and loneliness of a life she never would have known.
In a letter to Reuters, Monalisa Cetinou wrote that her life would never be the same without her husband.
Her mother said she had “given her everything” and that she wanted her to see that she had not lost her humanity, and that her two children would have a normal life.
The letter, sent on Wednesday to Reuters by a lawyer for the woman and her family, said the woman’s husband, Monadol Lefebvre, has never apologized to her for the attack on her and that he has never sought to “save” her.
It was sent by lawyer Antoine Ceternou to the wife and children of the wife of the accused rapist, whose case is now under review by the Constitutional Court.
In the letter, the woman wrote that Lefeber, who was her father’s lover at the time of the attack, “raped me as an act of love.”
She also wrote that she has never been able to accept her husband’s apology because she is now separated from her children, and she cannot even talk to her children because of the abuse she suffered.
“I know that I am not a murderer, but I am a victim of rape,” she wrote.
The woman said she is not ready to leave the family home where her father is a caretaker, which is situated in a rundown area near the city center.
She also said she does not want to see her children grow up with an alcoholic father, whom she has seen many times over the past year.
The rape took place on Dec. 17, 2009, when Lefeleber was 19 years old.
He is accused of assaulting and raping the woman, who he was in a relationship with.
The mother said her daughter is now 18 years old and has been living with her father and a friend in a poor section of the city.
Her father is not being charged, she wrote, but his wife has filed a case against him and they are awaiting a ruling on the case.
In her letter, she said she wants to “tell my children that this is not their fault, and the police should not be involved in this case.”
The woman also asked that the accused be “given a fair trial” and the possibility to prove his innocence.
“As long as he continues to be a good person and does not hurt my children, I will be satisfied with this,” she said.
The women’s letter came amid heightened public awareness of the growing number of women who are sexually assaulted by their husbands or boyfriends, and with renewed debate about what constitutes a normal relationship between men and women.
The police investigation into the case was launched in April 2015 after the woman reported the assault.
She is now 27.
The case has received support from a group called the Survivors of Violence Against Women, which has filed complaints with the court in the case and with the National Police Office (NPRO), which is investigating the attack.
The NPRO declined to comment on the letter.
The accused is currently being investigated for the assault and is due to appear before a court in mid-November.
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