Although nobody prays or plans to be raped or sexually assaulted, we would all agree that rape is a daily reality in our present day society. There’s a high probability that someone reading this post has been raped. An African woman is being raped right now while you read this post.
According to rape.co.za “every 17 minute, a woman is raped in south Africa. A girl born in S.A is more likely to be raped than she has the chances to learn to read.” Nigeria as a country lacks accurate statistical data. Even the ones that were on the police website were declared as ‘grossly inaccurate’ by the Amnesty International. If you are a regular follower of the news media, you would have observed that every single week cases of rape and child molestation pop up on the headlines.
As a counselor, I want to offer a few tips that can go a long way to ameliorating the traumatic impact. I have seen these tips help people who I have been privileged to counsel over the years. Ok! Let’s share:
(1) Accept the reality of the event:
You never thought this would happen to you but it just happened, it’s not a dream! Denial will further engender severe post-traumatic stress. This does not mean that your world has ended. There are thousands of women out there who have been raped but they made it through. Ever heard of Oprah Winfrey? She was raped several times by her uncle, got pregnant in the process but behold her today! She still ranks as the world’s richest black woman; wealthier than the Queen of Engand. You too, can become a star made by the fire.
(2) Get medical attention:
If the sexual assault took place recently, ensure you see a doctor for medical examination. This is to avoid any form of medical or gynaecological complications.
(3) Speak Out!
It’s quite sad that our society makes it very hard for sexually assaulted women to cry out. In some cultures, the lady is flogged under the belief that she must have seduced the man. In some Muslim nations, the woman must produce four witnesses before her complaint can be lodged. That is quite sad! No matter what happens, find a trustworthy person to share your experience with. Weep over someone’s shoulder. There are now a number of NGOs who are helping sexually assaulted victims seek for justice in the court of law. Do click on the ‘somebody help’ tab of this blog to find out how we can be of assistance to you or anyone you know in this regard.
(4) Avoid Isolation:
It is natural to want to isolate yourself after such a trauma. A low self-esteem stares at you! Resist the urge to isolate yourself. Isolation can breed suicidal thoughts. Some years ago, we received with shock the news of the death of a popular newscaster with one of Nigeria’s leading media houses. It was told that she died in her sleep while on vacation in Europe. But close sources revealed that the elegant media personality had some weeks earlier, been accosted by armed bandits at her Nigerian residence. She was raped! The fashion icon later traveled out of the country and committed suicide overseas.
(5) If you were sexually assaulted by a relative, please speak out immediately!
Don’t let it linger. Statistics show that most assaults within the family unit never get reported. The strength of your assailant lies in your silence. No matter who the person may be, even if it’s yourself; do cry out! *smiles*
(6) Don’t get bitter, get better!
Sometimes we cannot explain why bad things happen to us. You cannot always decide what happens To you but you can decide what happens IN you. God is a specialist at using the fragments of your tragedy to work out His eternal purpose. I am sure He will engender a ministry out of your misery like He did with me. Cheer up!
Kindly email us: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any form of counseling, we have experienced counselors of both genders ready to attend to you. Our Skype address shall be made available soon.
Keep on keeping on!