Marital rape can leave you feeling betrayed, humiliated and confused. When the spouse you have selected for life does something so unspeakable, it is bound to shatter your world. This is the same person you have shared your most intimate feelings, fears and thoughts with. As per studies, partner rape has longer and graver effects than stranger rape. The affect of this atrocity has been compared to the affect of those who have been hostages.
If you have been a victim, it is of utmost importance that you seek professional help to overcome the scars and trauma.
It is natural for your mind and heart to come up with its own defence mechanisms. If you have suffered from marital rape, you might undergo the below emotional symptoms.
Avoid thinking about it: You put off thinking about the whole thing altogether, pushing to deal with it later.
In denial: You are in denial of the whole thing, telling yourself that it only happens to strangers.
Minimising the impact: In your head, you minimise the impact and try to convince yourself that it is not that big of a deal.
Try to rationalise: You try to rationalise the whole thing, saying that ‘it only happened that one time”he will never try to hurt me.’
How to cope with it
Despite what you convince yourself, marital rape is extremely traumatising leading to depression and anxiety among other life long issues. It is very important that you take that step towards healing and recovering.
Get medical attention
It is believed that rape takes place in up to 70% of relationships where there is domestic violence. It is vital that you do not ignore your physical wounds. If you are uncomfortable going to the doctor on your own, take your friend or trusted family member along. Insist on a female doctor beforehand if you prefer it.
Speak to trusted family members
If you have a family member from your side or his side that you can reach out to, you can take them into confidence. Sumita G, a working professional says, “When things got out of hand, I confided in my husband’s sister who was mortified when she heard the story. She made helped me through it and made it very clear to him that this kind of behaviour was unacceptable in the family.”
Reach out to an NGO
Not everyone has a family member to turn to. Remember, you do not have to feel helpless and lost. To come out of it and get guidance, you can reach out to an NGO like Sneha in Mumbai (http://www.snehamumbai.org/) which works against the prevention of violence in woman and children.
Join an online support group
It is crucial to know that you are not alone in all of this. Interacting with others who have gone through something similar, hearing out their stories and getting support from them will help you become stronger, overcome depression and anxiety and aid in the recovery process. You can join something like the After Silence community (http://www.aftersilence.org).
Because of the nature of the assault and the deep trauma that it inflicts, it is best to get counselling from a professional. Therapy will not only deal with the emotional and mental injury caused during the atrocities but it will also work on the overall psychological impacts such as loss of trust, shattering of the belief system, etc. Nisha Shah, A Housewife says, “Recovering from the outcome of marital rape is not easy. But it is extremely important that you take proper help as it will affect the other spheres of your life as well. I had become weak, fragile and completely lost faith in myself and the world around me. Through counselling, I could regain my former strength and get in touch with the girl I used to be before all of this.”
Seek online counselling
If you fear the social stigma or are not comfortable with the prospect of going to meet a therapist in person, you can opt for online counselling. Psycho therapists in India have woken up to the importance of online counselling. Through this medium, you can conceal your identity and openly talk about what you are going through. You can get the attention, care and guidance that you require from the comfort of your space. Cafe Counselling, a team of dedicated experts committed to making mental and emotional well-being easily available can help too. All the experts at Café Counsel believe in being friendly, empathetic, and sensitive in their therapeutic approach and deliver assured positive results.
Remember, you do not have to suffer in silence. With proper guidance and counselling, you can come out of the unspeakable situation. To get in touch, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with experts now.