How do I get over being raped?
This is the first time am writing to you. I enjoy reading your columns and have benefited from your advice. Now, I am desperately seeking your help. I am 20 years old. When I was 19, I was raped by a man from whom I was seeking employment. I reported the incident to the police. Even after I had been threatened and followed by the man several times, the police did nothing. I am trying to get over it but it is still affecting me. I was a virgin when I was raped and now I am afraid of having sex. Each time I try to have sex and I remember how painful it was, my hands start shaking and I just lose it. I am ok with kissing and touching, but to actually go through with the sex, I just can't. My boyfriend got frustrated and broke up with me. How do I get over this problem and have a normal sex life? I eagerly await your response.
Dear Troubled Victim,
It is only about a year or so you were rape, so you have not yet fully gotten over the trauma that a rape victim undergoes. Frankly, you should not be trying to have sex so soon. You should have undergone therapy, and I am surprised that the police have not followed up your matter and tried to help you. It might take you a long time to feel that you are healed and when I use the word 'healed', I am speaking in the spiritual and emotional sense. You have been violated in the most intimate way.
I pray God that this feeling of worthlessness will go way, but it may take a long time. For some girls, it may take years. Your boyfriend didn't understand why you could not respond to him sexually was because you felt that he was violating your body, just like the man who raped you. I know he was not doing that, but it is not always easy for men to understand what rape victims go through.
I know that you have gone to the doctor, but I would encourage you to seek audience with a family counsellor. It is important that every rape victim be checked out by a doctor to make sure that she is not suffering from any sexually transmitted infection that might have been passed on to her.
I know you are greatly affected; therefore, it is important that you seek emotional strength from other rape victims, and here is where the police and family counsellor can assist you. What I am trying to say is that you are not alone. There are many persons who have been raped who can help by encouraging you to be strong.
Regardless of what the circumstances might have been, don't blame yourself for the incident, and if anyone says that you brought it on yourself, do not accept that at all. Men rape women because they want to show their power. It is not the fault of the victims. I repeat, it might take you a long time to recover, but you will. Spend much time in prayer and Bible reading. Discuss your feelings with people you trust. Do not allow anyone to force you into doing what you don't want to do. May God bless you. Do write me again and let me know how you are doing.