She is only 15 years old and still in school, but is already the mother of a six-month-old daughter.

Brianna Johnson* is one of 20 girls who got pregnant and had to drop out of the Kellits High School in Clarendon over the last two years.

She said her predicament did not result from her willingly engaging in sexual intercourse at a young age, but instead it was a case of her being raped.

Sadly, Brianna’s story is all too common across Jamaica, as the society continues to grapple with teenage pregnancy, a number of them because of sexual abuse.
“I went to spend the holiday with my grandmother in Ocho Rios, as I always do, and while there she sent me to the shop,” the young lady recounted. “On my way to the shop, I was drawn into bushes and raped.”

Brianna – who lives in an extended family with both parents, three siblings, grandmother, cousin and her daughter – said she is now struggling to put the ordeal behind her. She also remains fearful of walking alone on the road.

“I try not to put it on my mind or to relive the incident, but I have tried not to walk or go anywhere alone,” she told The Sunday Gleaner.

Feared Dropping Out

On learning that she was pregnant, she said her greatest fear was not being able to complete high school and further herself in pursuit of a better life, but thanks to the policy of the school, she was spared that despair and is now looking forward to doing her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams next year.

“When it happened I just kept saying ‘I want to go back to school’. Even when school started I thought to myself, ‘I could have been at school now’. But I wasn’t so worried because my mother told me I would be going back to school, and it’s OK now because I got to go back and finish my subjects,” she shared.

Brianna was, however, reluctant to return to her community at first, as she was fearful of what people would say. She decided to go back after rumours started that she had got pregnant for her brother.

“While in Ocho Rios, where my grandmother lives, I decided that I didn’t want to return to my community. Then my father called my mother and said persons in the community were saying that my brother got me pregnant because they haven’t seen anybody visiting me at home,” she explained.

“At that point, I changed my mind and decided to return because I didn’t want persons to believe that was true. I told them that they can say what they want to say, I know what happened but I am not telling them.”

The teen mom, who in the absence of the father had to give the child her last name, said her mother has been extremely supportive, which has made it easier for her to resume getting an education.

“She [my mother] told me that when I return to school I should focus on my studies and not to let this [pregnancy] happen again,” Brianna shared.

“When I go home I have to care for my child and do homework, which is very challenging, but my mother is helpful.”

Peers Supportive

She has also not experienced any problems settling back into school, as her peers and teachers alike have been very supportive.

Brianna is now looking forward to sitting five CSEC subjects next year, three fewer than what she would have liked due to financial constraints, but intends to do the others at a later date, as she wants to become a nurse.

“I want to become a nurse because I like taking care of children, and I want to take care of my family when they get old, so I have decided not to idle,” she said.

“Plus, when I get older I don’t want my children on the road begging; I want to be able to work and provide for them. My family will help me but I don’t want to be like some girls.”


  1. Her mother said not to let the pregnancy happen again??Like seriously?? Did she let someone rape her mommie Dearest??Hope u find the courage to reveal who raped u so at least HE won’t rape again.

    1. Same thing me seh to, yardie. Weh the mother mean, not to “let it happen again, ” not to get raped and pregnant again? When in our society will we stop treating the victims like they are the perpetrators? This child was violated in the worst way possible, and that is the mother’s attitude? I wish only the best for her and nothing but lifetime of sorrow for that nasty rapists.

  2. They should educate women to report the rape right after it happen. A morning after pill could have prevented the pregnancy.

  3. Rape and incest is a very real and privalent thing in our society! A lot of persons would say to tell someone, or report it or pill, but trauma and knowing you will not have support and encouragement from some persons not to report it because of shame etc, can be a hell of a thing!

  4. It sad but ur right Spoon, very prevalent n some mothers actually uphold it many times bcuz they themselves were/are victims. But to the man dem weh believe a so it fi go or ago unnu gwine dead n dead bad memba mi told unnu. If mi hear say my brother rape, mi kill that n mi naah hitch. Is like murder but the victim alive fi memba. One out of four Ja. woman experience some sort of sexual abuse and we a sit down a worry bout ***y and naah see say some waste man a spoil up we woman dem.

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