The stigma of being raped is earth-shattering. I felt shame, fear, alone, and terrorized by my nightmares and unpleasant memories. “Common reactions to sexual assault include feeling like you can’t feel safe again, feeling ashamed, low esteem for self or others, feeling scared, and wondering if your life can ever be the same,” says licensed clinical psychologist Elizabeth Ramquist, Ph.D. But no matter how bad it felt, I know I have to move on from it. My parents often remind me that it was not my fault and was not of God’s doing, but rather an opportunity used by the devil.
“Sexual assault is any sexual act, which is unwelcome or unwanted. It is sometimes committed through use of manipulation, coercion, intimidation, threats, force, or a controlled substance. It can range from sexual battery, to threat of sexual assault, to rape,” according to Hung Tran, Psy.D.
My struggle lasted for almost before I was able to bounce back from the trauma of the rape, and the healing process was very painful. But with the support of my parents, counselor, and churchmates, I was able to move past it. I was able to restructure my life, rebuild a sense of self-control and self-worth, and have the courage to trust people again. I even see myself now as stronger and more resilient.
Opportunity Presents Itself
As I see myself ready to face the world again. I started to ask myself questions on how I survived it. I focused my attention on studying God’s words and looked for answers and the reasons why God allowed it to happen.
Yes, I was raped, but it was not the end of it. I’ve realized that there are other things that I should be thankful for, and one is that I’m still alive. Second, because of what happened to me, our family became closer, giving me the support I needed. Third, I found a purpose for my life after my rape, and it is God himself who opened doors of opportunity for my family and me. He gave us the strength to face it and talk about it not just within our family or the confines of our church but to other communities and organizations as well.
I thank God that our family became bounded by the same spiritual determination. It has become our core strength to spread awareness about rape and give hope for victims of rape and sexual trauma. God had made me an instrument to help teenagers like me who almost took their lives because of the stigma brought by sexual assault, abuse, and rape.
Rape Is Not The End
Your traumatic experience from rape may have closed a door, but it is your choice to allow it to open windows so
- love may come in
- belief in God will enable you to forgive
- affirm what God has done and can do to your life
I cling on to God, for there’s no one else that I know of that can help me get to where I want to go but Him. He is the only way I know who can help me survive and let go of the pain. I look up only to Him so that I may forgive my assailant. If not for his love, goodness, and control over me after the rape, I could have been stuck in the darkest moments of my life forever.
All Things Work Together For Good
I believe that my God is a God who makes no mistakes. Tragedies happen for a reason. For me, it was the rape, while others have their own forms of miseries, which God allows to make His children stronger and become better people. These things are hard to comprehend when you’re in the middle of your misery, but after the suffering, it is then that you will realize that God’s yearning is for your betterment because He is the father who loves you most.
It is your faith that will allow you to see this, and only by God’s grace will you have a faith like this. I don’t know how God will use what happened to you, but I believe if you listen to Him with your heart you will find His purpose for you as I did.
After my rape, I just held on to Him. He was the one who led me to the victory I am enjoying now with my family. Also, “Healing from sexual assault and physical abuse is a slow psychological process that can be worked on gradually and released as a negative event that happened and is not what controls your life today,” says Dr. Taji Huang PhD.