Sexual assault is any form of sexual violence, including rape, child molestation, incest, and similar forms of non-consensual sexual contact. It is any unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims. Most sexual abuse experts agree sexual abuse is never only about sex. Instead, it is often an attempt to gain power over others.
There is now an epidemic of sexual assault evident through domestic violence, work place harassment, and rape. Sexual assault is a serious and devastatingly violent criminal behavior. It often leaves a traumatic scar on the victim that no amount of time heals or lets the victim forget.
As a Life Coach and Psychotherapist, I work on so many cases of abuse with women who are victims (survivors) and I can tell you that it is very traumatic and destructive. Immediate reactions to sexual abuse include shock, fear or disbelief. Long-term symptoms include anxiety, fear or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and other mental and emotional health challenges. While efforts to treat sex offenders have been somewhat futile, psychological interventions for survivors — especially therapy — has proved effective.
Every day, we hear new stories and allegations of rape, abuse or assault perpetrated by men in authority and power and we as a people, have grown thick skin or have become indifferent to this menace. Hence, the victims suffer double jeopardy through injustice repeated several times, going about life with a sense of lack of psychological, emotional and physical safety and protection.
It’s time to do better as a society
We have to STAND up against this! If we are going to build a great nation, we have to start being our brother’s keeper. We can’t continue to be cynical and afraid to speak up against injustice. It is time our culture stopped making excuses for these dishonorable perpetrators. It is time our culture stopped victimizing and stigmatizing the victims of abuse.
Rape and abuse are very destructive.
When it happens in our schools, we turn the other way.
When it happens in the workplace, we do nothing because of fear or getting sacked.
When it happens in our churches and mosques, we keep quiet because we quote silly scriptures that don’t apply like “Touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm” as if the prophet is supposed to commit those atrocities in the first place.
We must now start putting accountability measures in place for the clergy because it now seems, some are painting others in bad light. The church leadership and umbrella body needs to start speaking now against what is wrong from Abuse, to Financial Misappropriation, Excessive Living to the Lack of professional expertise to counsel people who have issues etc.
I have spoken to a few pastors and I sincerely believe that there are great pastors in Nigeria and I know a few of them who want to do right but now is the time to start by standing on the side of TRUTH and say “WHAT IS WRONG IS WRONG”.
Together, let’s start saying NO to what’s wrong in the the our places of worship, in our offices, industries, in our communities and in our country at large. After all as Christians, shouldn’t we always be thinking WHAT WILL JESUS DO?Isn’t He the one we are supposed to model our lives and ministries after and be accountable to?
So let’s all start thinking about how we can:
- Provide professional support to victims
- Protect and care for victims (survivors)
- Bring justice into our system and encourage victims to go all the way to get justice
- Address the weaknesses of the perpetrators and get professional help for them
- Hold them accountable on all levels
- Condemn and speak against what is wrong
The traumatic effect of abuse or rape is very real we MUST collectively work towards stopping it. Parents must take more responsibility for their children’s safety. Everyone must take the position.
My team of coaches, therapists and I are available to support victims of sexual assault. Email firstname.lastname@example.org