If a girl is raped

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Aime Hutton:

It is very traumatic to experience rape but you are a survivor and you will get through this. Your rapist does not define you, your experience does not define you, the future can be beautiful – you just have to get there. Share your story today.

If A Girl was a campaign in 2015 by SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a not for profit organization based in Zambia with a vision to raise a generation where girls are empowered, equipped and fulfilled in every aspect of their life, for the development of the entire world. To know more about SAFIGI’s goals and activities, visit: http://www.safetyfirstforgirls.org

Rape is a unlawful sexual contact or penetration, with or without force.

It is horrific to experience rape, such an encounter does not only hurt the body but it also scars the mind and emotions. Moving on after rape is also a difficult journey but unless you start to take that journey, the wound left unattended can only grow.

If you have been raped, this is what you should do:

Know that it is not your fault. It cannot be your fault. You didn’t force the person to force themselves on you. It doesn’t matter what you were wearing at the time, if you were in a compromised position or whatever, any sexual encounter you didn’t want, any sexual penetration without consent is rape. And yes, rape can happen in a relationship.

Remember who your rapist is. You do not want what happened to you to happen again to you or anyone else so report your rapist as soon as possible.

Go to the hospital immediately. It is advisable not to wash up before going to the hospital because the semen on your body will have DNA that can link to your rapist. This is also important to check that you didn’t get any internal damage or sexually transmitted illness.

Take a contraceptive immediately. This is in order to avoid any unwanted pregnancy from the incident.

File a report to the rightful authority. If you are in bad shape, have a friend file in the report for you. Your rapist should not go free.

Do not isolate. Get as much support as you can because after such an experience, sharing the burden can help you take the first step in healing. Make sure that you allow yourself to be vulnerable with people you can trust and those who truly care for you.

Accept the situation. There is nothing you can do to change what happened in the past but there is something you can do about your future. Accept the situation and let it go in order to heal. Yes, easier said than done but it has to be done. You need to accept it in order to move on.

Seek Counselling. Get a counselor or join a support group online or in your community. You don’t have to go through this alone.

It is very traumatic to experience rape but you are a survivor and you will get through this. Your rapist does not define you, your experience does not define you, the future can be beautiful – you just have to get there. Share your story today.

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ABOUT AIME

Aime Hutton is the Canadian Ambassador for Freedom and Empowerment. With her organisation Inch by Inch Empowerment, she works to empower teen, tweens and women.

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