THE POWER OF WOMEN AFTER ABUSE!

A 16 days of activism for no violence against women piece by SA Blogger ChanyD!

I AM A WOMAN!
I AM ENOUGH!
I AM SPECIAL!
I AM A SURVIVOR!
I AM AN EMPOWERED WOMAN!
I AM POWERFUL ... EVEN AT MY WEAKEST!

Writing a piece of this calibre is not only difficult because of the sensitivity of the cases but as a woman myself, one tends to feel more emotionally attached. I guess it is because we women think & react with our hearts.

I must say when the idea of doing a blog-post about sexual abuse against women got handed to me, I was very skeptical. Don't get me wrong, I live to empower people and women more especially, but I have had sleepless nights trying to come up with the best possible way to get the message across without hurting or defaming anyone.

So right at the very beginning, I must say that all content written here and presented to you have been carefully checked and verified to avoid any unnecessary drama. Our main goal is to educate and give hope to others going through sexual abuse.

My dear readers - This piece is not a joke! It is real life for my gorgeous girls. We have fasted,we have prayed,we have supported each other and together we present to you ...

THE POWER OF WOMEN AFTER ABUSE!!!

The amazing thing about God is that He can use anyone to make a difference and impact others. My heart's desire is for every girl reading this piece to know & believe that there is HOPE after abuse.

The abuse that my dear darlings have undergone is without a doubt inhuman. Makes the hair on my body stand and gives me that queasy feeling in my tummy. I can't even bear to think about the after effects of sexual abuse,(day after incident/s). But one thing I can assure is that God can heal this pain and indeed hope is alive.

Jeremiah 29:11 , "For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future".

Below is an interview with 3 brave girls robbed of their innocence. They are survivors and conquerors. I believe that all three are God's chosen angels who have been assigned by God himself to empower and protect those women who are afraid, oppressed and silenced.

Being an avid social media influencer,I go online very often in a day. While scrolling one day , I stumbled across something that pretty Adele Munsami posted that got me thinking. I just couldn't get her post out of my head. After we exchanged contact details, I realized that God had a plan for us to cross paths again in our lives.

A real 21st century empowered woman on a mission to excel & to motivate others to excel as well.

My dear readers - I present to you ...

 ADELE MUNSAMI - THIS IS HER STORY!

Please introduce yourself:
My name is Adele Munsami and I am a registered psychologist and PhD candidate in Neuropsychology.

How old are you? I am 28 years old.

Please share your story with us:

When I was 2 years old, my parents moved to a new house and because they both worked they entrusted my care to a day mother from my church who lived across the road from my new home. Whilst in the care of my day mother, her unmarried brother began to invite me for walks and as a curious three year old, excited and curious about the world around me, I trusted this adult and happily went along. However he had other intentions unimaginable by the innocent three year old little girl that I was at the time. He began by petting me inappropriately and this developed into molestation and eventually sexual assault. He began to brainwash me into thinking that I was unloved and that i would never be loved by anyone other than him, Moreover, he threatened me - by saying that if I told anyone he would hurt my mother. So in those moments as i lost my innocence, my childhood and essentially my life - i vowed to never tell a soul. As a child I prayed everyday for my suffering to end. I suffered some form of sexual abuse daily, whilst in the care of my day mother for approximately 10 years. The family attended the same church as I did, so I would see my perpetrator at all church services as well, where he would try to molest and grope my body. I was an intelligent child and continued to excel at school, extra mural activities, I remained creative and passionate about life - and thus there were no flags raised for my parents to know what i was going through. As i began to grow older, I told my parents that I no longer wanted to go to my day mother and felt i was old enough to go home after school around the age of 12 and this brought an end to the sexual assault, however, my trauma was not over. Because he had no isolated access to me any longer, he would chase me until he could touch me, this would take place in public as I grew older as he couldn't corner me, often in front of my peers at church events. As a teenager, having this take place in front of my peers, who didn't understand and assumed it was just a game of some sort, as he was a mildly mentally ill individual, was the most humiliating experience. My parents who are the kindest, generous people I have ever come across, would also transport this family to all church services and events as they did not have transport, and so he would try to molest me in the car whilst we traveled and i would have to suffer this in silence in fear of someone seeing or hearing me in pain - to protect my secret. This continued until around my 16th birthday.I hated my birthday the most, because i would have to allow him to hug and kiss me in public and he knew this. As a teenager, i developed severe depression and and began to struggle with my experience. I felt worthless, dirty, used and so broken, that no matter how much I cried silently at night i couldnt reach my pain, no matter how many nights I held myself and told myself that it would be okay tomorrow, I couldn't heal my pain. I began to numb myself to avoid the pain and began to hurt myself by cutting my wrists to feel a different type of pain - a pain that I could at least heal. As I mentioned, I was a bright child, however my grades began to drop no matter how hard I tried, I lost myself in my darkness and future faded away in front of my eyes, there was no reason for to continue the fight, I accepted defeat. and I tried to take my life. I was unsuccessful and at 17 I had to disclose to my parents, almost 15 years after my first assault had taken place. They immediately protected me and helped me to recover. They have been by my side ever since.. and without them i would not have been here to tell you my story...

When did you know that what was happening to you was wrong?
I knew immediately at the age of 3, that was happening was wrong, because of the physical pain and the disgusting feeling I felt deep inside me each time I saw him. But having been brainwashed into thinking that i deserved that and out of respect for an elder, as i was raised that way to always respect my elders, i did not fight back, until i turned about 8 and i knew that I did not have to do what he wanted me to do, and so the ambushing began.

How did your family react when you first told them?
I have disclosed to my family slowly, little detail at a time as it breaks their heart to know that they could not protect me or prevent my pain - although they did the best that they thought at time by placing me with a loving mother day mother who cared for like her own - which she did and i am eternally grateful. My parents have supported me 100%, to this day.

What happened to your abuser?
They moved to Johannesburg after my parents confronted him,he lived there with the rest oftheir family and died a peaceful death with no penance or consequences. I still see the house in which it all took place everyday on my way home.

Is there enough help for people /other women who want to speak up but are afraid?
Yes, I have a list of people and places on my page, and I am happy for women to contact me and i can link them to a center if I cannot counsel them myself. Many women whoa re abused, in any form, avoid seeking help as it forces them to relive the experience to some extent., however there is a misconception that therapy forces you to speak about these experiences immediately, when in fact, therapists are there to build and develop emotional and psychological strength foremost. And when an individual feels strong enough they are able to open up at there own pace.

Your advice for other young girls and women who have no clue on how to even begin to speak up? My advice is to women and girls and even boys, who are afraid to seek help is to begin by first writing it all down, slowly... and if they are only able to write down 2 sentences in their first attempt that is okay, they continue to write it down piece by piece always starting at the beginning and slowly they will be able to write more and more. I would then encourage them to access a foundation that works with survivors of abuse as these foundations specialize in providing help to these individuals - and the background work is already done (they have it all written down).

What do you currently do? I am a research psychologist specializing in the study of the brain, currently completing my PhD. I am also an ambassador for the Jes Foord Foundation and a motivational speaker at events as well as through digital media (Turning pain into power).

What/Who made you change your story from trauma to victory?
After I disclosed, life did not get easier I struggled a lot to cope each day.I was rejected from all my other career choices, and I say this because God had a plan for my life, he made it so clear as the only degree I was accepted for was a double major in psychology.I began studying psychology in 2008 after finishing matric which i am going to explain in detail as i believe that this was Gods plan for me the entire time., As i began to study I started excelling again, at research and at neuropsychology. At the end of my degree i applied for honors and got rejected despite having an A aggregate... i was crushed. I gave my everything and still came out a failure. I began to volunteer at this research project to gain experience whilst applying for jobs, like a receptionist, teaching assistant or to be a cashier at the bank etc, anything to make my life not seem like such a failure, all of which i did not get. So i continued to pursue my Honors through Unisa (part time) and volunteer at this project that was 60 kn away form home. During my time at this research project i received exposure to scientists from Norway and Professors at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I took a chance at applying for the elite Masters Research Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in PMB where 10 candidates are selected in the continent annually. I got in and passed my Masters Degree in Social Sciences - Psychology Cum Laude. I was head hunted and accepted for an internship at CAPRISA a leading research organisation globally, receiving the Columbia University-Southern African Fogarty AITRP Traineeship Award. I have had the privilege to publish articles to raise awareness of health issues affecting adolescent girls in South Africa which is one of the most viewed articles (http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/10150/0 ; https://www.omicsonline.org/ArchiveJAR/mostly-viewed-articles-aids-clinical-research-open-access.php?page=7). In addition i have received the prestigious Victor Nel SANCA Endowment Grant 2017/2018 which is awarded to one South African student every year (http://sahs.ukzn.ac.za/news/16-08-01/PhD_student_awarded_2016_Victor_Nell-SACNA_Endowment). I will be relocating to the University on another prestigious scholarship to complete my PhD under the Mental Heath Research Unit Division of Neuropsychiatry.

Any psychological trauma from your incidents?
If so, how do you overcome it? Yes, I currently Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This is due to the extreme cortisol (stress hormone) and Adrenalin that my brain began to produce from such an early age. As a result i have suffered damage to my brain. I have to take medication daily to help my brain produce the correct amounts of healthy hormones, which it is unable to produce on its own. Each day is a battle, but His grace has been sufficient for me.

Does your past affect the way you see men in general?
I struggle to be alone in crowds in general with a fear of being groped or touched - even if it is accidentally. I avoid men at all costs if i am alone, but have learned to be wary and also not to dismiss innocent people based on my past. This has been something that i have had to learn through practice.

Do you have a partner? If yes , Tell us about his support? Yes i recently got engaged to an amazing man, Jared Princely. He has supported me ever since we met and has been the most understanding and caring person I ever imagined. He understands my past, my trauma, my illness and my spiritual needs following my experience.

Please share with us how talking about your story impacts in a positive way
For many years I mourned ,my loss, the loss of innocence, my childhood which i never got to experience, as i was forced to grow up and take care of myself, care for my wounds and my pain. I grieved for my loss for many years, almost like the loss of a child. Until one day i realized that i did not lose anything, but i gained a message - a message of hope for others who do not have a voice like me. So i have turned my pain into power, i have turned it from a negative into a positive and this gives me hope, seeing young women changed after 6 weeks of speaking with me renews my spirit when i feel down and gives someone like me who has spent almost 25 years feeling worthless, a purpose in life.

You are such an inspiration to other women and a real role model … please share 5 tips on how to lead a positive and happy life.
My advice to others, as cliche as it sounds is to 1. live for each moment, experience it to its fullest, every breath we take is different from the last and will never be the same as the next. 2. We have to learn to enjoy the journey that is within our view, if we look back we will miss the beauty that surrounds us and if we try to peer to far forward we may never see the doors that are opening all around us. 3. Find a way to transform your pain into your power 4. Find your purpose, live it, speak it, dream it and you will be renewed 5. Ask God to use your life as testimony and watch His hand perform unimaginable miracles
How do you live everyday? How do you get through life? I live by these 5 tips, in addition i have an amazing family that have given me a reason to fight through my battle, especially my nephew Liam. He has been my partner in crime for the past 6 years , he had allowed me to experience the joy of childhood. As he experienced childhood, i did to, a gift he will never understand, but he has given to me. So i am no longer afraid to face my darkness because I know that my life is appreciated and needed by these amazing people.

How has your experience affected the manner in which you deal with situations and life in general.. I am lucky that my profession allows me to handle situations in an intelligible manner and i thank God for giving me this knowledge.

Anything to add. Please encourage women to follow me and my page for issues relating to abuse, mental illness, providing support, risks in South Africa and tips to deal with trauma everyday.

I met the stunning Michelle at a Women's Day event earlier this year and when I heard her story and testimony, I knew right away that we would cross paths again.
She's a gorgeous somebody with so many talents but what sticks out for me ... is her LOVE for GOD.

My dear readers - I present to you ...

MICHELLE KGUTO - THIS IS HER STORY!

Please introduce yourself:
Hello, my name is Michelle Kguto and I am 16 years old. I am a victim of rape & today I am here to share with you that I was raped a few months back and I was finding it to hard to let go of everything. I have been so damaged emotionally that I actually feel guilty about almost everything. My situation was shard, I have learnt not to simply follow the feelings or my mind but to practice taking a moment to sense what is deep in my spirit.

Please share your story with us
When did you decide to tell someone?
Why did you decide to tell someone?

The same day I got raped, the same time, I told my family & Aunty Priscilla. (Priscilla Aghullus is a phenomenal woman who does community work for oppressed women. She owns 2 homes for abused women).

Because I couldn't hide it, because I was hurt and I couldn't handle the pain on my own. I was so emotionally damaged and there was so much of confusion that I couldn't hide this thing and it was hurting me a lot. I needed someone to help me through this situation.

When did you know that what was happening to you was wrong?
The same time, the same day after I got raped , I knew it was wrong. Being forced into sexual intercourse is wrong, you can't force someone to do something that he/she doesn't like especially sexual intercourse. That is the most worst thing that you could ever do to someone.

How did your family react when you first told them?

My family were very emotional and very sad and hurt about my rape. It was hurting them a lot and they had to accept what had happened to me and that it was not my fault. I didn't go and look for it.They were there for me and supported me.

Your advice for other young girls and women who have no clue on how to even begin to speak up?

My advice towards young girls and women is that first of all you have to forgive yourself and forgive the person who hurt you so badly. Accept whatever has happened to you, raise everything and surrender yourself to God. Ask God to help you through your situations and to give you strength and the spirit of bondness with God. We should thank God that His ways are not our ways. The only way to find healing is to serve God , pray, be still & forgive, then you will be set free from the pain. Today as I share my story with you, I am healed emotionally, physically and spiritually. Never lose your hope , always have faith.

What/Who made you change your story from trauma to victory?

I have taken a decision to accept what had happened to me and that it was not my fault and won't hold me back. I have accepted HIM as my Lord too and not just my Savior. First of all, i would like t thank Aunty Priscilla for everything she has done for me. I was so encouraged everyday, and to listen to the word of God and it is so exciting to listen to Aunty Priscilla who really hears from God, someone who truly senses what The holy spirit is saying and doing. I also want to thank her for he prayers and teachings which has helped me a lot through my situation and has turned my life into victory.

Do you have a parter? If yes , Tell us about his support?

No

Does your past affect the way you see men in general?
Yes it does affect the way I see men as I never knew that someone could do this painful act to me.

What happened to your abuser?
He ran away and to this day he is not caught. The Police are still looking for him.

You are such an inspiration to other women and a real role model … please share 5 tips on how to lead a positive and happy life.

  1. Always be encouraged by the word of God
  2. Believe and Trust upon God that His will be done
  3. Being taught that He loves you so much. You are special.
  4. Build a relationship with god that can help you through your situation.
  5. Remain sensitive to God's word and obeying His ten commandments.

Any psychological trauma from your incidents? If so, how do you overcome it?

The day i got raped my body was in shock. I couldn't sleep I was having bad dreams. I was thinking about this the whole night. Every time, I tried to close my eyes,I could see this man, I had to overcome this by praying. Every single night I pray for a peaceful sleep.

Please share with us how talking about your story impacts in a positive way.

Through my story I am able to help the people become strong and to know tat they are not the only ones n that they can get help jus like I got help for my trauma.

How do you live everyday? How do you get through life?
Everyday in life, I am being encouraged, inspired and motivated by the word of GOD. I tell myself everyday that I am not a victim but a survivor and evil harm shall not trouble me and I am free.

How has your experience affected the manner in which you deal with situations and life in general.

At first my experience affected me where I was afraid to even go outside and walking back from school was a nightmare as I had to pass the place where I has got raped. I was scared and shaking nonstop. I now listen to God who gives me peace to make wise decisions. God always gives us wisdom when we ask and fills our hearts with peace.

Whilst placing the idea of this piece together,God gave me a vision that it will always be 3 girls. The problem was that I just didn't have the 3rd. God works in mysterious & amazing ways as whenever I was ready to sit with my team and finalize just the 2 girls for this piece, something went wrong or came up.

Minutes before finalizing, I received a message from the incredible Priscilla Aghullus, (she's a real wonder woman , hand-picked by God), that she has another girl who would love to join. I just looked up and said , "Thank you Lord".


Her smile , her style and her positive outlook really portrays a woman who has survived!

Dear Friends - I present to you ...

PHUMZILE NKIBINDE - THIS IS HER STORY!

Please introduce yourself: My name is Phumzile Sylvia Nkabinde.

How old are you? I am 30 years old.

Please share your story with us:
My story is that I was raped and abused by people whom I trusted with my whole heart at the age of seven.

When did you decide to tell someone?
I decided to tell my mother the day it happened. - I decided because I did not know what was happening I was scared.

When did you know that what was happening to you was wrong?
I did not know that what he did was wrong at the time I only realized when I got older.

How did your family react when you first told them?

When I told my mother she kept quiet about it.

Is there enough help for people /other women who want to speak up but are afraid?

Yes,there is. Rape survivors must find someone they trust to speak to.

What/Who made you change your story from trauma to victory?

I was admitted at Sudden Light (One of Aghullus's homes) and was assisted with trauma counseling.

Do you have a parter? If yes , Tell us about his support? No

Does your past affect the way you see men in general? Yes, I do not trust men.

What happened to your abuser? He passed away.

You are such an inspiration to other women and a real role model … please share tips on how to lead a positive and happy life.

I motivate myself every morning. I pray! I attend support groups. I remain positive.


OUR GOAL OF THIS POWERFUL POST :

Ultimately , our goal is to inspire other women who are silenced. Our goal is to help you lift that burden off your shoulders by speaking up. We want to educate you and tell you that it is never to late to speak up. By speaking up you are releasing that bondage which is straight from the pit of hell. You are allowed to say NO. No means NO, not maybe! We want to tell you that our bodies are temples of a living GOD. We need to protect it . Don't ever allow an outsider to disrespect you or your body. Be confident, Be a positive human being. Always remember that you are destined for success.

YOU ARE A WOMAN! THAT IS POWER RIGHT THERE!!!

Please comment, share and repost this piece.

You could just help save a life.

God Bless & be safe always ...

ChanyD πŸ’ž