This is a hypothetical case. It also is metaphorical.
A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. The pedestrian fell unconscious. A crowd quickly formed and the driver was circled upon by this crowd. The driver pulled up and then got out of the vehicle. It was apparent to every onlooker that the driver was drunk. However, the driver got away with it because the on lookers said “let us ask him for his version of the story.” The driver said something about being abused as a child and thus needing to numb the pain by drinking alcohol in copious amounts.Some of the onlookers , moved by the sad story,then deduced that the pedestrian should have been more keen while crossing such a busy road. Those on lookers remained with the driver on the scene,talking about the make of the vehicle and what the weather looked like. They all had moved on from the accident.
Some of the on-lookers decided to take the pedestrian to hospital . On their way there, conversation ensued about what shoes the pedestrian was wearing. It was decided that those were the wrong shoes for the pedestrian to wear. Those in support of the shoes being a wrong choice ,left the entourage to the hospital.
The group had reduced greatly in number. The stares and the inquiries that were being made initially reduced as well.
Another person said “that road is very busy. Why did this one choose to go there and cross from there? I know there are no pedestrian crossings or foot bridges around there but still, there was no need for this one to cross that road. And just like that. The great crowd was reduced to four people.
These four people thought to themselves “If this happened to me, I’d want to be helped” another thought “If this was my relative, I’d want the best for them.” Another thought “If this was my friend, I’d want the best” and finally, the last of the four spoke out loud and said “This is a living being. They should not be assaulted.” The four , all in agreement, reached the hospital and got treatment for the total stranger .
In the spirit of humanity,the least that we as a society can do is unlearn victim shaming and actually believe and support them. This applies in the instance of rape and gender based violence. We have to lend support to any survivor of such violence and become their safe place.
If you have been to Africa, you must be aware of how culture is vitalized in all aspects of human life. And when I speak of culture it includes all norms and sanctions that must be strictly adhered to otherwise you get ostracized.
Nairobi, Kenya according to the ministry of health, as of June 23rd rape cases stood at 5,000 cases only during the Covid-19 pandemic. In her address to the nation during the daily briefing of the country’s status of the Covid-19, Health Chief Administrative Secretary, Mercy Mwangangi said this was the least number. If this was the least number, it meant that previous years the number surpassed this range to a greater extent. What does this mean? Out of fear of being ostracized and receiving stigma from society, many rape victims do not speak out, lessening the actual number of rape victims.
There are many cases of girls getting raped by their relatives. And at the end of it, they get intimidated not to speak about it to anyone. The family of the girl either gets paid by the offender and any legal action against him is merely silenced. Who will speak up for this broken little angel who has just lost her virginity to a brutal relative? It is ironically disturbing to find that the same people who should protect you are selling off your dignity and put your life at stake.
With these cases being left at the hands of the elders for adjudication, often the victim is married off to the rapist just to save the family from any defamatory remarks from the society. This lady suffers trauma at the very hands of the same person who sexually abused her. You can imagine the sleepless nights she encounters; who will be able to console her during the many times she will be questioning her own importance to this cruel world?
Finding justice for these victims is among the top priorities that will play a key role in healing the wounded heart of the victim. Second, providing good support, making the victim feel less troubled by the terrifying experience she had before, generating activities which keep the victims engaged and meet their fellow peers and exchange opinions, all these play a vital role in the healing process of the victim. At the Wounded Healers Foundation, you get the real experience of the aforementioned measures taken to aid in the healing process of rape victims.
Victims will be able to go through a leadership mentorship program that helps them overcome any fear within themselves, and through the shared knowledge they get from the program, they will able to help many other unheard cases of rape victims in the society.
As a child, I suffered from living in poverty, worsened by cultural beliefs and a Very violent traditional father who made me question my existence. Throughout my teens and in my early twenties, as a result of trauma, my mental health and well-being were left in near darkness, which would greatly influence my view of the world.
I left high school with solid grades, but sadly they were overshadowed by my growing struggles of shame and guilt. At 17 years, I dreamt of going to college, but being a woman in the society where I lived then had other expectations. It was expected of me to do menial jobs to earn a living. Hence, I left for the city of lights — Nairobi, in search of education. Instead, I was raped on the first night in the town. Soon after, I realized I was pregnant. My society accused me of promiscuity.
I washed people’s laundry, cleaned houses, fetched water at roadside car washes to feed my child. Somehow after four years of hard work, I saved $15 and enrolled at the Kenya Polytechnic School. With the help of my mother, a tea farmer in the village, and well-wishers, I defined all odds and emerged top of my class with Distinction in Counseling Psychology.
I was forced to look deep within myself, and this is when my life began to change. I started to accept that I needed help sharing my trauma and becoming a loving mother to my son. I began dreaming of supporting survivors of sexual violence and helping them see the beauty in their brokenness. I now dream of a better future, a better world of empowered girls, where we can change narratives around us from vulnerable to powerful agents of change!
I am on a mission to heal and protect hearts. I share my life with girls and women who are hurting as I did. I welcome them into my world and assure them that they are not alone and can be victorious again even though they face challenges.
Today, I have empowered over 2000 kids and women in Africa with skills(self-defense) to own up their voice and protect themselves from violence.
My goal is to equip 5000 girls to pursue their educational dreams, make a transformative impact in their global community, and empower the whole community to strengthen favorable social norms, attitudes, and behaviors to prevent violence and uptake essential justice measures for survivors.