Haunted by the horrifying abuse of the two men who had stolen her childhood from her, years later, Sumayya finally found the courage to bring the monsters to justice.
Trigger warning: contains graphic details of sexual abuse that may be distressing to some.
The experiences we have in our childhood can shape us into who we are today. One young woman who was forced to endure the unthinkable when she was just a little girl, it drove her to self-harm and even stabbing herself. But 14 years later, Sumayya Miah found the courage to speak up against her abusers.
"I was just an innocent, little girl when I was abused by not one, but two monsters," said Sumayya, who is now a 23-year-old woman. After living with the nightmares of the sexual abuse she had survived as a 6-year-old girl, she was finally coming forward with her story.
Sumayya Miah, a UK resident revealed that the abuse first began in 2004, when her stepfather invited his cousin, Jahkir Hussain, 37, from Bangladesh to stay with them at their home in Luton, England.
"Jakhir needed a place to stay," Sumayya said. "After he moved in, we played board games, colored and watched films every day. As I was an only child, I was happy to have the company. He even brought me sweets every time he came home."
Stepdad’s cousin and lodger took turns to rape girl, 6, after moving in with family https://t.co/VwZjP415WZ— Winnaijatv News (@Winnaijatv) November 13, 2020
A couple of months into his stay with the family, Jahkir started taking advantage of her innocence, forcing himself on 6-year-old Sumayya when her parents were not around. "I wanted to push him away, but I didn't have the strength," Sumayya said as she recalled the first time she was raped as a child.
"He removed his clothes and said nobody would find out. Then, he raped me. I wanted to scream but I was too afraid. Afterwards, he told me not to worry because next time it wouldn't hurt as much. I was confused and in agony."
The second time, "I cried for him to stop. Jakhir slapped me in the face and told me to shut up. He threatened to rape mum if I told anyone. I was petrified."
Her parents had no idea about Jahkir's actions and the abuse continued. In 2005, the family rented out a spare bedroom that they had to a 47-year-old stranger, Emdadul Lukman.
After the lodger moved in, he too began putting Sumayya through the same fate.
"I couldn't believe it was happening again. Emdadul pulled my clothes off and forced himself on me, just like Jakhir did," Sumayya recalled. "Afterwards, I couldn't stop sobbing... The next year, while Emdadul was abusing me, I blurted out 'Jakhir does this to me too.' But he just shrugged his shoulders and continued. I soon told Jakhir the same and he didn't care either. My life was hell."
The men took turns to rape her until February 2006 when Emdadul moved out of the house. However, Jahkir still doled out the cruel abuse until Sumayya turned 8 years old.
"By this point, the damage was done," she revealed. "I became severely depressed and began to self-harm while growing up."
'In my culture, sexual abuse is swept under carpet': Brave victim, 23, tells how stepfather's cousin and lodger raped her from six-years-old - after pair are jailed for total of 36 years.. https://t.co/LgWfDQ31eQ via @MailOnline— Vicky (@2tweetaboutit) November 13, 2020
About a decade after the abuse began, Sumayya got married at the age of 17 but she was still haunted by the horrifying abuse. "...My depression got worse. One day, I stabbed myself in the stomach while my husband was at work," she revealed, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "Thankfully I survived. But my husband and Mum begged me to tell them why I did it. Finally, I told them everything Jakhir and Emdadul did to me. They were heartbroken."
Eventually, her husband managed to convince Sumayya to go to the police and report everything that happened, leading to the arrest of two monsters who had stolen her childhood from Sumayya. Although it took another few years, Jakhir and Emdadul were convicted of their crimes.
Jakhir was found guilty of three counts of rape of a girl under the age of 13 and three counts of causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and in February 2020, he was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Emdadul was found guilty of six counts of rape of a girl under the age of 13 and two counts of causing or inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity and was given a jail sentence of 16 years.