RapeTalk 2: Helping The Victim

Trust you are good?

Here is the concluding part of the lecture we started yesterday: RAPE!
(Click. http://wp.me/p46caD-60 for the last part)

Do leave your comments/questions in the comments below.

To join us for other discussions, please send VOW to 08103159382.

Good evening ladies, I hope your day made sense? Always remember that the way your seconds, minute, hours and days go are largely dependent on you. DECIDE to make the best of life.

Yesterday we looked at ‘Rape Self Defense’. Today we’ll be looking at what we can do for people who have had to undergo one sexual assault or the other.

With #sistersneedsisters at the back of our minds, please its important that you first ACCEPT that the victim is NOT AT FAULT for the rape incident. Even if she had an inkling that the guy has been making moves before now, or she wore clothes that left nothing to the imagination, it still doesn’t mean she wanted to get raped. Don’t get me wrong, we should take all this precautions and we mentioned it yesterday, but that’s not the real issue. So, forget playing the blame game with victims, they need help at that time and that’s what you should offer. Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in the adulterous act, you shouldn’t too.

Since I’m addressing females, we’ll be talking in terms of female victims hence the use of ‘she’ for victims.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:11 ESV)

So no ‘see your life’ or ‘I warned you, didn’t I?’ Nah. Its not time for those.

I saw a scripture in a different light recently as I learnt under an incredible man. I never connected the scripture to rape until he did.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice… (Isaiah 42:3 ESV).

The person raped already blames herself, the person is already bruised, its not time to break the person more. Its time to offer justice.

Justice being helping to heal the wounded heart.

When a person is raped or sexually assaulted, her world is practically turned upside down. She has been violated in the most intimate way possible.

Different people will respond in different ways. Two major responses include
1. Depression
2. Anger.

No response is wrong. The person usually feels a mix of shame, anxiety, fear and anger. The person most likely hates her own skin, she feels really irritated. At this point it seems the pain will never go away, but for every victim,please know that you will heal. Time it may take, but you will heal and you’ll be able to feel normal again.

Your goal in helping that sister is to help her heal from the assault not to show her how gullible, careless or stupid she was, she possibly has drawn that conclusion herself already.

What to do.

1. Safety. Get the person to a place they can feel safe. If the rapist is a family member, its best they leave to somewhere else, its good for them to leave that area or the person for a while.
Please while doing this DON’T FORCE THEM to do anything. Remember, they’ve just been forced to do something against their will. Encourage them, but don’t force or decide for them, except they allow.
For them to tell you shows they have a level of trust in you.

2. Support./Seek medical help. Remember our focus is to help them heal, so be there to support them throughout. Be there to listen if they want to talk. Seat with then if they just want to be quiet. Support them and remind let them know you don’t condemn them.

There’ll be urgent decisions they need to make, one of which is whether or not to report the crime.

Due to the way our society handles rape cases, there’s usually a reluctance to report. Putting in mind not to force them to do anything, you can lay out the options for them to see and decide.

– If they choose to report (to the police), insist they don’t bathe.
Reason is so as to be able to take samples from their body as well proof that the police can use. Though they might feel uncomfortable in their own skin at that time, the best thing is not to bath or change clothe.

– Even if they don’t want to report (to police), suggest they go to a SARC, where samples can actually be taken (using rape kits) for if they decide to report later.

SARC means Sexual Assault Referral Centre. There’s one in Lagos called the Mirabel Centre.

“The samples taken are of saliva, urine, blood and pubic hair, and swabs from their mouth, genitals and anus. (You can see why they need your support even for this too.)

Also very important: going to a SARC allows the person to get treatment advice about HIV and other STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and about emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy” (source: SFM)

Its always best to speak out. Rape usually blooms in secrecy. The rapist/abuser threatens the victim with one thing or the order, atimes death if she blows the whistle. However there are benefits of reporting.

“Benefits of reporting…
– evidence can usually be found supporting the statement, which will help the police catch the criminal.
– it helps make rape statistics more accurate so people will know how large the problem actually is
– the abuser, if proven to have done it, can be put in the sex offenders register so that others can be aware who they are.” (Source: SFM)


I mentioned I was going to make some contacts available.


Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) Block 18, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.
Twitter: @LagosStateWapa


Mirabel Centre
he Mirabel Centre provides the following services
A. Medical examination and treatment for illness and injuries caused by the assault
B. Counselling (face to face and telephone) to help cope with emotional and psychological effects of rape
C. Help reporting to the police
D. Information on the legal system
E. Referral to other agencies for help not provided at the Centre.

All the services at the Centre, including drugs, are provided free.
Doctors and nurses working at the Centre are trained forensic medical examiners and the counselors have undergone training on sexual assault trauma. Confidentiality is a key principle at the Centre.

The Mirabel Centre is located within the premises of the Lagos State
University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos.

Open every working day from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

Please save the contact…you don’t know who might need it.


Some Final note quickly:
Note, the victim has to deal with the assault physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
They may recount the experiences over and over.
They may continuosly blame themselves for not doing something right.
Please be there for them.

You might want to advice for them to speak with a counsellor/psychologist.
If you can deal with it, please refer to someone you trust can and be there for them.

1. Don’t guilt or pressure your friend into reporting the rape – it is up to her discretion whether or not she wants to report the rape to the police. You can encourage this, but do not use guilt or pressure as a motivator – your friend is already dealing with a lot of guilt and grief about the rape.

2. Don’t imply or outwardly criticize the survivor for not resisting the attack. A rape is not the victim’s fault no matter what.

3. Don’t suggest that the rape or sexual assault was somehow related to being in the wrong place – and that the victim should’ve known better.

4. Don’t ask after what the rape or sexual assault victim was wearing or doing at the time of the attack – it implies that blame should be given to the victim for behaving inappropriately.

5. Don’t judge. Anyone can be a victim of rape or sexual assault – Assaults can happen to anyone at any time at any age. So check judgement at the door and listen openly as your friend opens up about the assault.

6. If your friend indicates that he or she does not want to talk about the rape, do not push for details. It may make them feel more uncomfortable than they already do, having survived a rape.

7. Don’t imply that he or she is misremembering the situation. If your friend was the victim of sexual violence, it’s not up for debate.

8. Don’t frighten them – even as a joke. If your friend or loved one has experienced a sexual assault, chances are that they will feel jumpy and startled under the best of circumstances. So don’t come up behind them suddenly or touch them – this may trigger flashbacks of the rape.

9. Don’t be offended if your loved one doesn’t want to be close or touch you. Touches may trigger flashbacks of the rape. Ask before hugging or holding their hand if they are okay with you hugging them. Ask every single time you feel compelled to hug them – don’t assume that they are always going to feel comfortable with your touch.

10. Don’t expect too much of yourself. Your friend or loved one may need different types of support from different people – you should not and cannot be the sole person to support your friend as he or she recovers from a rape.

11. Don’t speak for your loved one unless they have asked you to. When friends, doctors or police ask questions, allow them to speak for themselves.
(Culled from the internet)


Don’t forget you can drop your questions or comments in the comment box below.

Stay CHIC.

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