Africa and The Abused Woman Complex

Article is by C.J Npowa

Doesn’t it just amaze you that women who have been abused but only to come out about it decades later, whether they were abused by a family member, a friend or a community leader.

Doesn’t it just amaze you that people always cross examine the victim? Well, why didn’t you do this? You could have done that. Are you sure you didn’t ask for it?

Why is that?

Well, years of reading about it has convinced me that it has to do with a couple of things:

The big obvious one is the shame. Shame is a funny feeling. It overtakes you much like fear and despite your best reasoning, there isn’t much you can do about it. And there are many levels. So, the women who have been victims of abuse (whether sexual or physical) tend to carry that shame. The shame of having allowed oneself to be victimized, the shame of not having been able to stop it, the shame of not having fought hard enough or not having screamed loud enough, the shame of the looks afterwards, the shame of feeling less worthy and dirty(forever carrying a minus).

On top of shame, comes the guilt. The guilt of perhaps having provoked the situation (maybe it was my walk, my short skirt, my laughter, the look in my eyes, better yet my innocence). Your minds starts playing tricks on you. There is also the guilt of having felt a slight sensation of pleasure as the abuser slammed into you time and time again. Remember how thin the line can be between pain and pleasure at times, especially if the abuser is smacking and caressing at the same time, blowing your face off one minute and blowing you kisses the next.

Then, there is the constant pain and memories. Indeed daily reminders and fear of the possibilities that it might happen again. You might want to tell, but who will believe you. Your voice is too small. You want to accuse, but your abuser is stronger and threatening you of further afflictions. Meanwhile, your mind is messed up and you are acting it out. Looking even more pitiful and more to blame for your own misery.

Finally, in order or in an attempt to live a normal life, comes the denial. You choose to forget and pretend it never happened. Or some embrace and cling to their abusers. It’s called the Stockholm syndrome. When that happens, you become the biggest accomplice to your own destruction, a willing and participating victim dancing a sick twisted dance.

In relationships, theses feelings can be multiplied when the abused is a man. The fact that he seems so strong and was overtaken by a seemingly weaker person; it’s borderline laughable (satire my friends, satire).

That, my friends, is the African complex. Africa and its children have the abused women complex. A whole continent that can swallow at least 5 of the biggest countries in its fold, was overtaken by a handful of small countries. Strong men and women from whom the whole world (all races included) came out of, have been so mentally and physically abused that they no longer recognize themselves in the mirror. They are but shadows of themselves, indeed afraid of their own shadow.

Is Africa poor? Any educated person will tell you that Africa is still despite years of plundering, the richest continent on earth. Yet, like that woman with loads of potential inside her, she’s been convinced that she is not worthy with innocent words like “third world” and “countries of the south”.

I often read comments (the comments below the articles are the real stories in my opinion) beneath articles on Africa and its many plights. While those that have never known abuse struggle to identify and understand why this “big crying baby” couldn’t and can’t help themselves. They mostly feel that “she” caused it upon herself. In a society that digs deep into a serial murderer past to understand the reason behind his behaviour, they just can’t get what all the fuss is about. You get the; “Oh will you stop whining already…that was years ago. Besides, you participated in it. Retribution? What retribution? Justice? What justice? Just get over it”

I get it, it’s hard to identify simply because Africa went through a senseless period of dehumanization that continues to date. After all, they were savages, monkey-cousins that lived in jungles and spoke animal tongues. They needed to be either civilized or burned to ashes. My Amerindians can relate.

Now the politico-anal mentor-ship continues because they simply have not matured yet. In the meantime, hand over your panties with a smile and bend over. It’s alright, we’ll use Vaseline so you won’t have to scream.

Meanwhile, the abused have bonded with the abuser, even as the abuse continues with a caress here, a punch there and most importantly the appearance of the priest and his choir boys being nicely kept. At times, the abused who has been robbed of her/his identity in the process becomes protective of their executioner, whom without they just don’t know who they are anymore. As a matter of fact, some are still playing the monkey and Tarzan game.

That said, notice how by the end of this article the abused no longer had neither a gender nor an age, simply because that could be anyone of us.

What more shall I say? Surely a lot but hopefully, depending on which side you are sitting, you got something out of this.

About Teakisi 239 Articles
Teakisi (formerly ElleAfrique) is an English and French blogzine dedicated to challenging and changing the perceptions of African girls and women in the world today.

1 Comment

  1. I think With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.

    Women should not be afraid, ashame or whatever to tell what’s happening. There’s always someone out there to give you some help!!!

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