One who is raped or sexually abused generally struggles with – sense-of-safety and self-worth. Regardless of age or gender, the victims suffer mentally and grow with the trauma all life-long if not checked. Unfortunately, there are less societal or governmental structures laid in place to help these victims recover. In Nigeria, it is seldom talked about, and those bold enough to voice out hardly gets justice or help towards recovering. A story is reported of prostitutes who were raped by policemen and the case is now swept under the carpet – https://youtu.be/xdLqyDRzsas
What about males that are sexually abused? The society expects them to be man-enough and not to complain about it – the masculinity factor.
So, let us do our little bid and talk about ways to heal from rape trauma.
Remember, these things can be learnt, practised and with time, overcome the trauma.
Here are a few ways on how you can heal from rape trauma:
This is the first bold step to freedom, being able to tell someone. It can be extremely hard acknowledging the fact that you were raped or assaulted. You sure will have thoughts like; how will my friends see me, will my parents judge me, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will they still see like the good sister they used to know, or will they look at me differently? My dear, you’ve got to confide in someone you trust, else if you choose to remain silent or keep it as a secret only then will you deprive yourself of help. You really can’t run from the truth forever. Hiding from the truth only makes you feel ashamed but when you open up you automatically become free. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to select who you tell your ordeal. Some persons may not be supportive, compassionate, and calm enough to relate with such issue. It’s always advisable to talk to a professional therapist or call rape crisis hotline. Going to the hospital for rape analysis and informing the cop is also key.
PS: You can become a pioneer or join a support group to encourage other victims, you can make yourself available for visitation so as to reach out to others, volunteer to give blood, or donate to any charity organization of your choice. By doing this, you feel less isolated and regain your sense of power.
Reconnecting back to your body as well as nurturing yourself throughout this process is very vital. Avert yourself from association with the trauma, ensure not to give room to unpleasant fad, and be kind to yourself, (make sure you are not saying hurting words to yourself, whatever is bad that you can’t say to a victim – don’t say it to yourself), be patient with yourself; and do things that make you feel good. For instance; you can go to the spa and get a full-body spa treatment, eat healthy food always especially if you are a foodie like me, listen to inspirational music especially jazz(jazz has been proven to be the soul of music), change your hairstyle, do exercise and mindfulness meditation, go shopping, or even gift yourself with a rose flower (telling yourself how beautiful and loving you are, etc.). As time progresses, this can help in stress management, give stability to your mood and feelings proportionally, as well as helping you take full charge of your life.
GET OVER IT
Now, this is not the time to judge yourself, blame yourself, or even think if there were warning signals you ignored. And flash-backs would come from time to time. This is the time to admit the truth of the incident, by so doing it becomes easier to accept the fact you are not responsible. It wasn’t your fault it happened. If it was, learn from it and move on. Feeling guilty or ashamed will do you more harm than good. Nobody wakes up in the morning and prays to be raped or expect terrible things to happen to them in the course of the day’s activity. So, sweetheart, it wasn’t your fault, neither did you bring the rape on yourself and you’ve got nothing to be ashamed about. Have you forgotten you struggled so as not to get raped? If you had other alternatives to stop the assault, you definitely would have. You did the best you could. Don’t hit yourself hard because your attacker is to be blamed for violating you against your wish and privacy.
NB: If you can have this mindset, trust me your healing will be fast and easy.
You must come to this realization that no man is an island. You need a learning skill to help you scale through this. Learn from other women’s experience. You can achieve this by; reading books, visiting blogs, attend support organization meetings, and listen to women like you talk and mingle (Linkup!). You need to lean on others because you really can’t isolate yourself forever. Life is too short to keep to yourself. You need the support of other people, connecting back to people who truly care about you so as to foster quick recovery. Doing this doesn’t imply you must talk about what has happened.
Remember, also, you will have to trust a partner if you want to learn to enjoy sex again and fulfil marital consummations. So gradually connect again and let your partner know.
NB: My point is, stay connected!
I honestly want to use this medium to say sorry if you were raped, I’m sincerely sorry it happened, I’m so sorry you have to go through this pain; it’s not a scene to behold neither a thought to imagine, no. ❌❌❌
Regardless not knowing you, I’m pretty sure you can overcome this. You are stronger than you can visualize!
Did this help? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section.