RAPE: AN EXTERNAL INJURY WITH INTERNAL SCARS
In this article, I will be talking about rape and its effects on victims, physically and psychologically. This is a sensitive topic, and I completely understand how it feels to be in that situation, so I do not want you to think, at any point, that you are alone.
If you are here to learn about the scars that come with being sexually violated, I will proceed to talk about it, but before that, I have a story to tell you. I do not believe in the term “victim” because I am a survivor, and so are you.
Seven years ago, I was violated by my uncle in my parents’ house. It all happened one Friday afternoon after I got home from school, my school always closed earlier than on other days on Fridays, so I knew I wasn’t supposed to meet anyone at home. Surprisingly, someone opened the door for me, and I met my uncle, he was smiling at me, and I hugged him, he complimented me and kept stressing the fact that I had grown bigger than the last time he saw me. I was happy to see him, and we talked for a bit before I went into my room to change. I always wore a loose gown or pyjamas at home, so I dressed in an oversized gown and quickly went to join him in the sitting room so we could talk about things we did while he was away.
We were talking for a while before he switched to a more vulgar topic, I was young, but I knew some things about what he was saying because my mum had lectured me one time and I had learned about some from school during sex education periods at school.
I knew we shouldn’t be talking about things like that, I was clearly uncomfortable, but he kept going, I stood up and tried to leave because it was getting pretty intense, but he caught me by the hem of my dress and pulled me down into the couch. I was scared, but for some reason, I wasn’t worried, I thought he wouldn’t hurt me in any way. I was wrong because he grabbed my neck and forced himself on me while I was gasping for air. I can’t remember the whole incident, I’m pretty sure I passed out at some point.
When I regained consciousness, I felt sticky down there, like a gummy substance was smeared on my body. I looked down, and I saw blood, my blood. I looked up, and my uncle was snoring on a couch, half-naked. I ran into my room and cried, I cursed myself, I blamed myself, I hated myself. I thought it was all my fault because I was raised in a house where a man’s actions are to be supported and a woman’s action questioned.
I convinced myself to believe that I caused it until I gathered the strength to tell someone at school. She said it was rape and I needed to tell my parents. I tried to be courageous and went to my parents and told them what happened to me. As expected, they blamed me, took my uncle’s side and judged me for his crime. They called me a liar, words got to my school, and people said it must have been my fault because of what I wore that day.
I was depressed, I suffered from PTSD, and I hated people, especially men. Everything changed when I met my husband five years later, and he helped me get through the pain and trauma of my past. Rape comes with so many bad effects on its survivors, both physically and psychologically.
Rape is a traumatic experience that involves forceful sexual penetration without the victim’s consent. There are external impacts of sexual abuse, such as,
- Vaginal or Anal infection or bleeding.
- Unwanted pregnancy.
- Severe pelvic pain.
Of course, those are very painful effects of rape, but have you ever thought about internal pain? How it affects you psychologically, Do you know what they said about internal wounds being the hardest to heal? That is what happens when you are in a situation like that. You are likely to suffer from PTSD, which is a disorder where you are unable to recover from a past traumatic event fully. This can last for months or worse, years.
Rape triggers self-hate and guilt, and you may blame yourself for what happened to you even though there was nothing you could have done to prevent that action from happening. In fact, the only person that could have saved you was your abuser. We live in a society where men rule, and women are not completely respected, we are usually the victims of societal discrimination.
A girl child is not as valued as a male child. That is why most sex perpetrators are men who got away with their disgusting acts just because they are men. My society says a woman only gets raped when she dresses indecently or goes out to have a drink, but men do the same, and they get praised. You may feel anxiety, panic attacks and shame, but it is not your fault. Self-blame is among the internal effects of rape, where you fight with yourself for what had happened, persuading your mind to believe it was your fault.
Depression is deadly, especially when you have no one to talk to due to fear. You might consider suicide as a solution to escape the trauma and fight with your mind.
Humiliation also happens to affect victims of rape. They feel dirty, unworthy, unholy, and unfit to face the world. The perpetual fight with your body and mind can lead to so many harmful events like attempting suicide. You may become scared of people in general as you’ve lost trust in humanity. That is quite understandable, but you need to survive and keep hope alive. Use the experience to educate others around you and become a light and protection to the vulnerable ones.
Rape is a deadly act that no one should experience.
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