I write a lot of stories on violence experienced by other people but, today I will be telling you my experience with violence.
I was nine years old and in a new school when it first happened to me. I could never forget just how hurt I felt being shamed continuously in front of my classmates. My teachers had no clue what was behind my timid character and when performance was not good their words only added insult to the injury. My classmates, of course, being young did not make it easy for me either as I was a constant target for their mockery. I remember the days when during parade, my name was consistently mentioned as the girl who wet her bed and by that factor, I was marked a ‘dirty, smelly girl.’ Things at home were not easy and being nine years old I carried that burden in my heart and being in a boarding school where only good performance mattered, I never told anyone what I was experiencing and neither did they care to find out what was behind my poor performance. I remember one time I was called in the office and was reprimanded for never smiling, my classmates had it on me and they mocked me, and still, I had no one to tell my story. What I dreaded most being in school was the constant comparison by teachers who did not take their time to understand exactly what was going on. My teachers shamed me, intimidated me, called me names and made me feel bad about myself that most times I kept wishing God would just come and take me away.
Am sure a lot of people can relate to my story and it’s good because now we all can understand what psychological abuse is.
I like to describe psychological abuse as a form of abuse where a person is subjected to behavior that results in anxiety, depression, and diminishing of one’s self-worth. Psychological maltreatment is as severe as physical abuse and maybe even worse because the wounds are engraved deep within us.
Who are the primary targets? Like any other form of violence, psychological violence can happen to anyone. It may have probably happened to you in school, at home, in the workplace or even in your relationship. Most people, especially the ones in abusive relationships or abusive work environment don’t like to admit that they are being abused and they try to hide it behind pure sarcasm such as, ’haikuwa big deal.’
Children are more vulnerable to this form of abuse, and it has adverse effects on their growth. Sometimes when children develop some queer behavior, one should not jump into conclusion. Maybe it’s another kid bullying them or someone who is shaming and verbally abusing them.
Psychological abuse can lead to chronic depression if it’s not keenly looked into. While we all feel that when someone verbally abuses you, we can look the other way around, it’s important also to know that we shouldn’t let ourselves get abused. My remedy is to talk to someone about it so that it doesn’t build up. When it comes to children if an adult is the one doing it, first shame on you! But, as a parent and guardian, don’t just let that go, you can report it to the relevant authority.
Remember to use Mulika Uhalifu application also to report such kind of abuse.It may seem like it’s not a big deal when someone emotionally abuses you but it is because mistreatment like this always ends up getting physical. So, be smart and let us all say no to gender-based violence.