Rape is an abhorrent act of selfish malice that perforates the victim with unspeakable pain. It is an abuse of humanity! I still remember it like it was yesterday, the day I was raped by three men. That ordeal left me broken and wounded. My road to recovery was long and arduous. I still find myself on that journey whenever I meet a rape survivor who is at a crossroads and has completely lost faith in humanity. I get to relive the painful experience again and a part of me just wants to erase that pain. I now know that everything that we go through entails a metamorphic process that is essential to growth. My prayer is that, the wounded warrior may not get lost as they fight through the maze of recovery. Some people believe time does heal but, in my case, I found that NOT to be true since every trigger I encountered meant a horrific revival of the nightmares, anger, pain, shame flooded me all over again. This was tiring, I felt as if someone had a remote control with my name on it and pressed the buttons whenever they needed to see me suffer because I had absolutely no control of when I would see or hear news about rape and how I would react to it.
Being a Christian, my faith and trust in God helped me go through the emotional pendulums that characterize the ensuing trauma that accompanies rape. God helps me to navigate the day to day challenges after I realized in Christ I am not supposed to be a thermometer picking the temperature around me but instead I should be setting it as a thermostat would; I’m supposed to be responsive instead of reactive. When Christ is in you, he walks and works in you. Yes, it is okay to cry, to feel sad, to feel the loss that comes when your body is violated in this manner, however, it is not profitable to be in this same position every time. There is no stipulated time for recovery since every ordeal is different and we are all at different stages of our lives but one thing is certain rape victims live to fight for their lives as survivors but a greater cause awaits of living your best life without fear, anger, unforgiveness and allowing the warrior within to arise encourage another and fight for another survivor.
Out of my pain, God birthed hope. I saw others in my similar predicament get lost in alcoholism and drug abuse, many others were swallowed in prostitution and many more stayed quietly in their homes with curtains drawn fearing it would happen again. Some got in the habit of cutting themselves so that they can still feel the assurance of being alive, while others tried to commit suicide. The hurt was so intense and they had no idea what to do to rub if off because, going through the process is inevitable but it is never easy. God had held my hand and I felt the gentle nudge to go and extend my hand to the hurting survivors with the little strength left in me. At first I started my outreach to offer companionship. I wanted to provide a safe space with them to open up if they wanted or to cry, or shout if they needed to do that, then I would be there to offer my weak shoulder for them to lean on. I did this for a long while before parents started bringing in small children who are victims of the same. Hospitals started calling asking me to go and talk to survivors maybe because my rape ordeal was so public and can be read here as captured by BBC . I was not where I had been after the rape neither was I where I wanted to have been. One thing I learnt in this season, you do not have to wait to heal completely to be able to help another hurting person. I always wept for the survivors who came my way and those that I read and all I could do was say a prayer for them. but when children were being brought to me, to counsel them, I could not weep anymore, I knew that I had to do something. It was heart rending to see the trauma caused to the little girls who had been raped by their biological fathers.
I counselled them and sent them back to the same home, the same hostile environment. I will explain why in a later blog. A strong desire to become a part of the solution gave birth to the first rape survivor ONLY center for children in my country Kenya. The usual norm is for centers/homes to bundle all the children going through a variety of issues together with orphans. This is just a band aid to the problem because the defiled children’s issues are not addressed in an intimate way which ends up being a problem to the children as youth or even future parents. Kara Olmurani home was officially launched in 2016 and we accommodate girls below twelve years. In our next blog I will get to share with you the details of what we do and why you should partner with us.
Our goal is to ensure their safety in a conducive environment that promotes peace, joy and love, while being counselled so that they are empowered and taken back for reintegration to the society. Rape is real and a hashtag like #SupportSurvivors hits home for me because I know what support did to me and for me. Never wait for rape to knock at your door in order for you to do something. It is a global problem , other countries’ statistics showing worse than others but bottom line once the dust settles down, a real human being is hurting and so are those who love the survivor. Everyone heals differently, they have to make deliberate decisions with many things they do, wear or say simply because someone suggested out of ignorance that it happened because of something they did or not do on their part. The mental scars are deeply embedded and only God can get to the bottom of it all and give a new meaning to life.
Kara Olmurani means I am warrior. I ask you to Support us by going to the donate page, also share widely for many to know there is help. I would like to hear something you birthed out of a need. I birthed Kara Olmurani by God’s grace with the help of many, especially my husband, because of the need that I saw firsthand. What about you, what did pain birth? I leave you with a message from a beautiful Ugandan lady from my inbox that I am yet to meet in person who wrote
“May He bless you for sharing your story with the world so that someone else can share your strength. You do not know how many lives you are touching and how many hopes your story is restoring. God bless you abundantly Mama!
see you next Wednesday for another warrior special!