Sexual abuse is rife the whole world over, and while rape and abuse as performed by strangers is devastating, there are statistics to show that sexual abuse – particularly that done to children – is mostly carried out by relatives and people they know and trust.
It is perhaps for this reason that so many cases go unreported – the child does not quite understand what has happened, the abuser is a respected family member, and even when the child tells another elder, the sexual abuse is simply not believed.
Sexual Abuse and Nigeria
Throw all of this into the Nigerian context and all of a sudden, this taboo subject becomes buried and never spoken about. Fear of breaking up a family, being branded a whore, or simply not believed is enough to keep people silent over abuse. The unfortunate thing about burying sexual abuse topics such as well as other forms of abuse is that it gives rise to unsolved problems and trauma that simply manifest themselves later on in life. All of a sudden, some young lady seems fine but never marries and buries herself in work. Or marries and is distant within the marriage, or is adamant about never wanting to have children, or is given to promiscuity or prostitution for no discernible reason. Or even things as illogical as hating the colour blue – who is to know that her abuser always wore a blue t-shirt whenever he came to her room?
It is this painful topic that Amanda Bedzrah triumphed over and lived to tell her tale. Amanda’s busy life with a husband and young children came to a screeching halt as long-suppressed, painful memories came crashing to the surface. This powerful book, The Love That Set Me Free, speaks on the reawakening of a memory that she had no previous recollection of, coming to terms with the trauma and resultant emotional fallout from long-buried sexual abuse, and the freedom she was given after discovering the love of God.
An excerpt from the book:
I was a broken person, hurt and abused (by others and myself). I could not use, believe in, or accept my God-given gifts and talents. These kinds of feelings and emotions were hard to explain and communicate to someone who didn’t know how I felt or what I had been through. It was hard to communicate with the various counsellors I went to see. It was hard to get answers online, but what I did get was some support from other people who were in the same situation as I was, looking for freedom, looking for answers, and learning to cope with and accept life. In fact, one lady described how to “just deal” with normal, everyday life.
The book is available for purchase at The Word Bookstores, and at £11.99, it may just be the answer someone out there is looking for. I encourage you to get a copy and read it.
If any of the content in this post has touched you and you may feel you or someone dear to you might need some help, there are outlets that can help: The NSPCC and ChildLine are great resources for helping children while at a young age, while websites such as Family Life and RAINN are a godsend for adults trying to deal with the pain.
May we all find peace, health and well-being.
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