Something happened last year that gave me an incredible sense of freedom. It wasn’t pleasant for everybody involved, but for me I exhaled and a dark smudge on my life was wiped clean.
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone. Male, female, young or old. Incest, rape, molestation…they are all evil acts that we should never EVER become complacent about.
Incest is real and it’s revolting but instead of the perpetrators carrying the burden and guilt it ends up being the victims. I am one of those people. I don’t see myself as a ‘victim’ because I’m strong but I was once a young girl bullied and beaten by a brother who then decided to play out insidious acts against his sister and brother. Incest. I know right! All the yuck!!
I lived with that stain on my soul from a very young age until I was well into my forties, that’s a very long time to live in fear. It’s also a very long time to have had family take sides and ostracise you.
I was the little girl taken advantage of, who then grew to be a woman who carried a secret. When I eventually released that secret family took sides, it didn’t end well and I chose the family I created with my husband.
Last year my bully passed away. The man who had inflicted evil died. If he had been a stranger when he abused me my family would have rejoiced his death. They would be glad to be rid of a disgusting human who had inflicted pain and indecency on a young girl. Instead my family mourned him and paraded photographs of him on social media.
Can you imagine seeing photographs over and over of the perpetrator who had forever changed your soul?
It was awful, but I exhaled like I hadn’t done in decades.
He was gone.
I felt released.
My wish for all humans who’ve been at the mercy of sexual abuse is for them to feel that freedom.
Earlier this year I became aware of Rafiki Mwema, you may have even heard of them? A charity organisation healing young girls in Kenya. Girls who through poverty and community and family breakdown are sold or pimped (often by their own families) or snatched and used up like an old worthless rag.
Except they aren’t worthless, they just need rescuing and rehabilitation and love. There’s a few good hearted bloggers right here in Australia doing amazing work raising funds and awareness for this important charity.
I met Aussie team leader Sarah Rosborg a few months back when I attended Pro Blogger conference. I got busy selling tote bags for her and posting to Instagram…because social media can be so very, very good like that for raising awareness and connecting.
But it didn’t feel like enough, so I promised Sarah that when I was ready to write about my story that I would do it for ‘good’. I would release my story and in the process something ‘good and gentle and heartwarming’ would come if it. You know…kinda like all those gorgeous things that are snatched away from a child when a stranger or someone trusted inflicts sexual abuse upon them.
Let’s break the stigma, discard the shame and remember that these children deserve to be heard and healed.
‘Rafiki Mwema’ was first started by charity group Play Kenya, a therapeutic safe house, to help little girls in Kenya make sense of the horrors inflicted upon them, allow them access to needed medical treatment, support them through the court system, and where possible to work with their families for a safe return to the home.
For this to happen Rafiki Mwema need to continually train and employ very special staff. Hand picked staff who were enthusiastic, passionate and caring. Staff who could work with the girls and help heal their minds and hearts through counselling, attachment play and emotional first aid.
Everyone involved in the fund-raising for ‘Rafiki Mwema’ does so on a 100% volunteer basis, ensuring the funds go directly to where they are needed the most. So to raise money the good peeps at Rafiki Mwema fundraise.
One of the ways they do this is to sell cool product or you can even sponsor the girls…for as little as $5 per month!
My Mister and I sponsor the girls, sure we give away more dollars these days since my own cancer diagnosis and its tough deciding who to donate to but this was a no brainer for us. $10 a month (what we give) is the cost of two coffees…stuff all! Oh and if you like you can make a donation and receive a tax receipt ?
If you like to shop with a social conscience then check out…
Furaha (Happiness) Soy Candles $29.95
Aluminium drink bottles $15 (perfect to carry with you)
Flamingo dress $25 (lovingly handmade and cute!)
ALL the profits go back to ‘Rafiki Mwema’!
I’ll leave it up to you whether you purchase or sponsor, but I’d love you to read about the good work of Rafiki Mwema, that would be a huge show of respect and care. We all deserve that right?