By Ogunseye Odunayo

“Tola, can you come around this weekend for us to hang out?

Femi, come around to do what exactly? Ohhhh, I should come around so that you can spoil my life again abi?

Tola, what are you insinuating? This is not the first time we are hanging out and you should know well how I do care for you. Even if anything is going to happen, I will always ask for your consent babe. I thought we have talked about what happened to you then and you have healed.

Femi, let us keep our distance for now. I have been through this before and I don’t want such thing to happen again. You are not blind and deaf to things coming up about rape these days. Bikonu, once bitten, twice shy. Be fine and stay safe.”

No doubt, rape is a traumatic experience. Rape is not just about the physical abuse; it affects the victim psychologically. The victims have to go through long process of healing to get over this experience. Since this abuse is mostly done by people tagged as relatives, friends, lovers, and so on, trust issues become a trait the victims exhibit.

It is very difficult to get over memories; good or bad ones. According to psychologists, there are actions, events, situations that serve as triggers. Triggers are reminder of past trauma. However, these triggers can make one overwhelmed, panic, sad, depressed or causes flashback.

Recently in Nigeria, the trending issue of rape and murder is not far-fetched. There have been numerous cases coming up as rape cases. Not up to a week after Uwa’s death, Barakat’s case came up and I believe there are several other reported cases of this nefarious crimes, too. It is quite alarming especially for the female gender. Shall we say it is no longer safe to be a woman?

Having seen the recent updates on rape, the victims are being reminded the past which they have let go. Reading about various rape cases trigger what it’s termed dark past. Finding peace is becoming difficult for them because of the fear that it might happen again. The incidents have left so many of the victims nothing but the choice to wallow back into the state of blaming themselves, losing their self esteem, losing loved ones due to trust issues, hating those who they have forgiven for the incidents, remembering the pains and scars, uneasiness around the opposite sex etcetera.

It is heartbreaking that these cases become the opener of wounds that have once been healed and forgotten. May these dark days pass!

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