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Opinions of Sunday, 30 December 2018

Columnist: Tuntum Nahana Akosua

#Me too, the broken girls who become shamed women

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We are the women who are difficult to love. "We are the girls who grew up, With men who didn't belong, Sticking their fingers in our private parts, Inserting us with semen, We didn't want. We are the girls who were verbally abused, Physically abused, Learning we were worthless. We are the girls whose fathers abandoned us, We fear men. We are the girls who had our clits cuts, So in our sex we saw pain instead of pleasure. We are the ones defined into a sex, Which demands perfection and femininity we can't offer.

We are broken, we lash out, We are misunderstood. We don't care, pain lives in our bones. We knew no love, therefore give out the toxicity we were giving,

Lusting for that, ripped from us. Maybe we wrongly believe every man can, Handle a goddess who makes beauty out of pain. We need men. Men who can see us as women, Who turn darkness into light. " ( Tuntum Nahana Akosua)

These are some of their stories. All stories are anonymous to protect the victims.

" I was only nine years old when a family friend in his fifties or sixties, sexually abused me for months until I told my mother. I remember I was scared and frightened all the time. I lost my innocence that day. He would take us to trips from my hometown to the capital city, whenever we would have a toilet break, he would make sexual advances and tell me how much he wanted me. In my bedroom at home, he will tell me to open my legs so he can finger me.

He told me he was only touching it and I shouldn't tell anyone or else. Since then I always long for a finger to be inside me. I don't trust men, I freeze at any form of male intimacy. Afraid it might happen again. The fear is overwhelming. It almost happened again in my third year of university, I went over a boys house to Netflix and chill. I didn't know Netflix and chill meant sex. I thought it meant just watch a movie and chill. He begun to touch me, I was scared but I enjoyed his hand passing through my thighs and let it go. He started to move his hand towards my vagina and I told him to stop I don't have sex before marriage. He forced me to kiss him, then tried to force my to lie down. I fought him off, he realised I was too strong. He also said I was too outspoken and I would tell.

Then he told me to get out of his house. I counted mysef lucky. Since then I decline invitations to male houses. Unless they are very good friends. Even then a male friend invited me over when his girlfriend was on holiday, I declined his advances several times. He then decided to try to force himself unto me, I fought him off.

I know it's affected me mentally and physically. I'm easily angered, anxious, aggressive and afraid. I feel dirty and used.I use to ask God why me ? People tell me to just get over it. Why am I looking for pity ? I've also heard people in the church say let it go, forgive, you're only hurting yourself. Yet they don't know how hard it is to walk in my shoes. I wish I didn't have to."( Woman 1)

" My mother used to physically abuse me because she was dealing with a mental illness caused by her very tragic past. I was only a child when I had to go through female genital mutilation. My own mother requested it and since then I've had many health complications and pain from it. I use to always be involved in a fight. I have a short fuse, yet a very loving and giving heart. People don't understand the trauma of my past. Even after all this, life has dealt me more tragedies. Yet all everyone sees of me is the young lady whose always fighting, not knowing I've had to fight to survive." ( Woman 2)

" My father was the one who sexually abused me in my childhood. No one, not even my own mother believed or supported me. I got raped twice at University. Thats when I got the courage to report it to the police and they requested a counsellor for me. That helped. I couldn't press charges and go to trial because I was too scared. Since then I've been in one useless relationship after the next. I have low self worth because of what my father did to me. I give my body away freely. No one ever taught me it had value."( Woman 3)

What do we call them victims in need of love, or desperate, crazy, broken, abused and undesirable women. They are called too aggressive or too passive and people pleasing. They are shunned for having low self esteem. Blamed for jumping from one toxic relationship to another, w do not undestand they are desperate to be loved, to feel safe. They are rejected for sttruggling to love themselves. After all some believe its their fault they are not ' good virtuous lovable girls.' Do we ever applaud them for getting up another day and fighting their demons, most easy going girls haven't had the displeasure of batting ? Do we recognise they are bravely seeking another self, one that is free of their victimhood ? Or do we just bash them because they are not the clean cut women we want to see ? Add to their pain and reaffirm their believe they are not good enough. Communicate to them that they are the problem. It's time for us to hold their hand, love them and praise them for healing their wounds. If you are one of these women always know that you are worthy of love, because you are human. Even though inhumane things were done to you. You are so strong for fighting to live another day. You will find healing !

Stay tuned for part 2

By Tuntum Nahana Akosua