Any form of violence is serious. Whether sexual, physical or psychological. It may seem as an obvious step to tell your spouse when you have been abused but it will surprise you just how many people cannot speak to their spouse about it .Some of the married victims of violence prefer to keep it to themselves and move on with life even though deep inside they are dead. But why is this the case? Shouldn’t your spouse be your best friend? Shouldn’t he/she be the one helping you get through the worst moments of your life?
Grace a 42 year old was leaving for home around 9 pm from work. She had a busy day at work and put in extra hours so that she could accomplish all the tasks. It wasn’t the first time Grace had left the office at such an odd hour. In a town like Nairobi most people would think that 9pm is still too early to fuss about time but in other town like the one Grace comes from, 9pm is late! Grace boarded the last matatu to her home and when it brought her to the center she did what she always does-take a motorbike that would get her to her home.
However on that very night, the motorbike Grace took did not take her right at her door step instead the man on the bike together with his friend took Grace to a bush where they raped her. They tore her clothes, beat her up and raped Grace. For a moment Grace’s world had crumbled right before her very own eyes. Being 42 years old and a mother of three she could not believe what two guys almost her sons’ age did to her. She miserably walked home, crying and half naked as her clothes were torn apart.
When she got home, Grace went straight to the bathroom cried her last tears, washed up and sat at the table with her children and husband. It was obvious from her face that she wasn’t the same charming mother and wife, her husband inquired but Grace decided to hide her sorrows behind, ‘Job leo imekuwa mbaya.’
Talking with Grace she said that she couldn’t tell her husband what had happened to her as it would jeopardize her marriage. She simply was not ready to lose her husband. She was sure that he would not understand the situation.
She is just among the many that have trouble talking to their spouse about violence. So what is the real reason behind it? Maybe fear is the main reason. Fear that your spouse will look at you differently and that your marriage will not be the same. Fear that you will be left alone after so many years of marriage.
Whatever the case I cannot judge and needless to say I do respect your decision. My take though is that Violence especially sexual violence causes a huge hole in your heart. It destroys your self-esteem, hope and you become psychologically affected. It is good to talk to someone whether it’s a counselor or a friend it will help you. Fighting the battle alone and keeping everything to yourself will be more destructive than what already happened to you.
There are many Gender Recovery centers that offer counseling services to victims of gender violence. Talking to someone has many perks as they will help you recover from the trauma.
Healing from a traumatic experience such as a sexual violence can be handful especially when you do it on your own. Talking to someone like a counselor will take away a huge burden from your heart. It is nobody’s fault that they are sexually violated hence there is nothing to be ashamed of even if that is what you feel at first. My advice talk to someone because you will be helping yourself heal.
As for your spouse, He/she could also be counseled and also educated more about Gender violence. Most people are not aware of Gender Violence, They have heard about it but they really don’t know about it. Let us Break the silence on Gender Based Violence.