All my life, I have always been a conservative person. In fact my friend tried to beg me to show some skin or not wear my loving panty hose whenever I wanted.
She’d beg me to wear make up too and try to look good.
I did not care though because I was convinced I was beautiful without all the enhancements.
To the main issue for this post.
I still don’t understand why individuals still blame the prevalence of abuse on indecent dressing.
Does it mean that every street worker should be raped because they are not properly dressed and afterall they are looking to have sex you might say.
This is a terrible thought pattern.
I remember in 2016 when I first published the article on the abuse I endured as an adolescent. I had people (still do) who had the nerve to ask me if it was rape, if it was penetrative or I willingly gave myself. I have had people ask me if I enjoyed it too.
Are we okay?
What does a teenager know about enjoying sex? Why do we try to make excuses for things we should outrightly give our verdict to? I guess it is because so many people find themselves to be insecure in a particular area and it’s their way of trying not to feel guilty? I don’t just know.
That is not the half of it!
When the police got involved they called me a prostitute – as I small, my eyes don tear, they said. The very system that was supposed to represent and defend me victim blamed me right in front of my eyes leaving me helpless.
I was locked up for being abused. Yes, in my country.
I was never going to share my story with the world considering how I love to mind my business but in 2016 I realised that this was bigger than me and if we all stayed mute where would the change come from? Would the world be safe for my children? Will I be able to talk to them? Will I be able to face posterity and make excuses?
For a lot of you that don’t know this is why I fight, this is why my message screams hope and resilience.
We are scarred in very beautiful ways but the scars always remind us.
I have dated someone who asked me to go see a sex therapist not because he cared to see me whole and ready to settle down but because he wanted to spite me hence, he questioned my sanity, my sexuality and my ‘why’. That single statement scarred me differently. I have had people since 2016 who ask me out and when I decline they begin to question my sexuality. I have been asked if I was a lesbian before because I refused to date.
When we see women who have gone through the fire and refuse to smell like it, we try to question everything about them. Maybe their strength comes from having a sponsor high up, maybe she is this confident and bold because… we make up an excuse.
Try walking in our shoes.
Try walking in our shoes to realise that every day is a fight. A fight against depression and the inner demons that will come staring us in the face. A fight to be resilient and to not stay down. A fight to not be defeated and keep shut. A fight!
So can we please stop making it seem like the fight is left for the ladies alone? Can we stop victim blaming? What if the person you were trying to make excuses for did that to your sister or daughter or wife or aunt or mother? What if someone you love dearly tells you they were abused, would your first question be ‘how were you dressed’?
Come on Society, we can do better than this.
These children, girls, women deserve a fighting chance otherwise what do we tell our children, your children, our children? What excuse do we give?
Broken yet Resilient,
For; all victims and survivors.