After the 16 days of Activism against women and children abuse which commenced on the 25th November to 10th December it is time to look even beyond the reporting of abuse and focus on the aftermaths. I cannot continue without taking off my hat in great respect for what the country has managed to succeed in –the campaigns tackling abuse in women and children don’t go unnoticed. And because of that I’m quite sure some women‘s eyes have opened up and they finally chose to be survivors as oppose to victims.
I recently flipped through a magazine which boldly had a cover of Josina Machel, daughter to the late Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel. Going through the article I got a rude awakening of how even the elite can experience abuse in the hands of their partners. I’ve always known the fact but once it is there in black and white you receive it differently –let’s say you are more aware of how big of a problem abuse is. Because really abuse is not exclusive to those who are of low to middle class, black or older there are a lot of faces that are part of this big statistic.
So what is the next step after you have successfully reported the abuse?
Talk about it as much as you can. I know a lot of people spend months even years in abusive relationships meaning they have kept quiet about their feelings on the matter for a long time. Keeping such brutality bottled up can only result in horror. You will want to finally have a voice –I have found speaking and letting everything out helps with turning a new page to a new chapter. Don’t only recall the events but go deep into how you felt about it then and now. At this stage you just want to release yourself from the caging and let people close to you know about the situation (it is not your duty to make them understand).
Consult with a professional. At times we might think we are much stronger to walk the path of psychologists, social workers or counselors but to some extent we will need someone with expertise to advise us on how to pick up from where were. These professionals can also communicate things to us that will be advantageous in making sure that we don’t repeat history. There are deep rooted issues that we might not be aware of that make us react to situations in a certain manner, and with a professional’s help we might uncover these issues, face and concour them for our healing sake. Professionals will not only assist in dealing with the symptoms but the course of it all which a confidante might not be able to identify because she is not properly trained for that.
Focus entirely on yourself. I think it will be true to say that women that have gone through abuse spent a lot of their time watching their step throughout the (abusive) relationship. I believe in finding yourself you need to solely focus on things that make you happy –I don’t mean those that will give you amnesia. You want to be in the present and feel everything that comes with being a survivor to prevent the horror coming back to haunt you when you are least expected. You want to deal with everything and move on. In going forward you will want to finally do things that you have always wanted to do –don’t focus on the barriers, just go full force and claim your place in the world. Whether it is finding a new job, starting a project or transforming yourself, do it with the best of your ability. Remember reporting abuse is the first step to a whole new different life with great opportunities that come with hard work.
We would like to hear from you too. If you have successfully claimed back your life kindly share with us your story.