A woman has spoken out for the first time about how her stepdad’s cousin and lodger took it in turns to rape her as a child, saying: ‘In my culture, sexual abuse is swept under the carpet.’
Sumayya Miah, now 23, from Luton, was only six when she was raped for the first time by one of her abusers.
Her stepdad’s cousin Jahkir Hussain, 37, moved into their family home and repeatedly attacked her when her parents were out of the house.
A year later, in 2005, the family took in stranger, Emdadul Lukman, 47, after renting out their spare bedroom.
Unbeknown to Hussain, Lukman also began to prey on Sumayya and she soon endured a vicious campaign of abuse by both men.
Sumayya is now encouraging anyone else suffering from abuse to seek help after the monsters were were jailed for a total of 36 years for rape and sexual abuse.
‘After keeping my secret for 14 years, I can finally move forward with my life. In my culture, sexual abuse is swept under the carpet and often silenced,’ Sumayya said.
‘I am Muslim. But it isn’t my religion that sweeps sexual abuse under the carpet. It is usually just our society, local communities and culture.’
Sumayya Miah, now 23, from Luton, was repeatedly abused by two men in her own home as a child
In February 2020, Emdadul Lukman, 47, of Sussex, (pictured left) and Jahkir Hussain, 37, of Burgess Hill (pictured right) have now been jailed for a total of 36 years for rape and sexual abuse
‘If this has happened to you, please speak out and seek help. You deserve justice too,’ she said.
Sumayya, an art psychotherapy student, added: ‘I was just an innocent, little girl when I was abused by not one, but two monsters.
‘Even though they have scarred me mentally forever, I’m glad I finally got justice.’
Growing up, Sumayya lived with her mum and stepdad, Raza Miah, 50.
In July 2004, when Sumayya was six, Raza invited his cousin, Jakhir, from Bangladesh, to move in with the family.
Sumayya says: ‘Jakhir needed a place to stay. After he moved in, we played board games, coloured 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.’
Sumayya, now 23, from Luton, was just six years old when the sexual abuse started
As a child, Sumayya never told her family about the abuse as she worried about reprisals after one of her abusers threatened to attack her mother if she told them about the rapes
Two months later, Hussain called Sumayya into his bedroom to play a boardgame.
Sumayya says: ‘Mum was at work, while my stepdad was downstairs reading.
‘As I went to pick up the dice, Jakhir began to kiss me. I wanted to push him away, but I didn’t have the strength.
‘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 next week, Hussain appeared at Sumayya’s bedroom door.
She says: ‘Jakhir said he had sweets for me. I asked where my parents were and he told me they weren’t home. Moments later, he raped me again.
‘But this 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.’
From then on, Hussain continued to prey on Sumayya whenever he had the chance.
Then, in July 2005, Sumayya’s parents needed some extra money, so they rented out their spare bedroom.
Stranger, Emdadul Lukman, from London, saw their advertisement and moved in.
Sumayya says: ‘Emdadul smiled at me at the door, I thought he was nice.
‘But a week later, while everyone was out, Emdadul invited me into his bedroom.
‘My life was hell,’ says Sumayya recalling the abuse as a child (pictured left). It led her to suffer from depression and aged 17 she tried to stab herself in the stomach (pictured right as an adult)
‘He asked me about my favourite shows and colours. Then, out of nowhere, he kissed me.
‘I couldn’t believe it was happening again. Emdadul pulled my clothes off and forced himself on me, just like Jakhir did.Afterwards, I couldn’t stop sobbing.’
From then on, both men attacked Sumayya whenever they had the chance.
But, neither of them knew the other one was doing it.
Sumayya says: ‘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.’
In February 2006, Lukman moved out.
But Hussain continued his campaign of abuse against Sumayya for another year, until she was eight.
Sumayya says: ‘By this point, the damage was done. I became severely depressed and began to self-harm while growing up.’
Years later, in April 2015, when Sumayya was 17, she got married.
In February 2020, Lukman and Hussain were found guilty of rape and sexual abuse and were jailed for a total of 36 years for rape and sexual abuse
She says: ‘In time, we fell in love, but the abuse haunted me and my depression got worse. One day, I stabbed myself in the stomach while my husband was at work.
‘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.’
Weeks later, Sumayya’s husband convinced Sumayya to report Hussain and Lukman to police.
Shortly after, they were tracked down and arrested.
In February 2020 Jakhir Hussain, 37, of Burgess Hill, 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 at St Albans Crown Court.
Emdadul Lukman, 47, of Hastings, 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.
Later that month, Hussain was jailed for 20 years and Lukman was jailed for 16 years.