I want to go… I really want to … but I am stuck, I really want out of the relationship but then I can’t. He has a strong hold on me, my integrity is at stake. He would strip me naked and threaten to harm me if I don’t comply to his multiple demands including demeaning sexual activities. He would then make videos of him having sex with me – subtly threatening me by sending me the videos with his face well edited out whenever I try moving on with my life. I still can’t figure out how he takes the videos. I’m in so much pain, how can I make something meaningful out of my life now?

Here goes the height of man’s wickedness to man (Sexual Assault). Sexual assault is a common phenomenon which occurs worldwide but colored by the culture, religion, society, beliefs etc. It indeed encompasses a range of acts, including but not limited to coerced sex in any form of relationship, marriage and dating relationships, rape by strangers, organized rape in war, sexual harassment (including demands of sex for jobs or school grades), rape of children, trafficking of women and girls, female genital mutilation, incest and forced exposure to pornography. It is important to know the ramifications of sexual assault is not only a physical act, but also could be verbal or visual abuse or any act that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Sexual assault is also not discriminatory to gender as both males and females are affected but studies have shown that the number of female sexual assault victims (and assault perpetrated by males) is far greater than male victims.


People who have experienced this sort of trauma are affected on many levels but more importantly psychologically.  In mental health, outcomes of such experiences often leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a disorder that is peculiar to individuals who have experienced or witnessed some sort of trauma e.g. rape, childhood sexual abuse and other violent assaults, serious accidents, death of a loved one, war etc. People with PTSD have intense disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience which lasts long even after the traumatic experience has ended.

 They often have flashbacks of the occurrence as though reliving it all over again i.e. re-experiencing the events. Another peculiar symptom of PTSD is being unnecessarily irritable and having anger outbursts. They become hyper-vigilant and most times have trouble concentrating or sleeping i.e. arousal and reactive symptoms.

They also experience low mood, fear and a sense of detachment from other people. The individual may start seeing the world or themselves in a more negative way i.e. negative cognition and mood.

Also, such individual avoids events, people, objects or activities that serve as a reminder (cues) of such incident. They even go as far as trying to avoid the thought of the incident and they resist talking about it too i.e. avoidance.

When the symptoms persist for more than a month after the occurrence, it is termed PTSD however, when the symptoms is within a month, it is termed ACUTE STRESS DISORDER (ASD), which shares similar symptoms with PTSD but is set apart by the duration. An individual who has had a traumatic event and experiences the above mentioned symptoms within a month after the incidence is diagnosed with ASD. However, individuals whose symptoms persist over a month are diagnosed with PTSD.

PTSD is not the only mental health disorder that may develop after a sexual assault. PTSD can also lead to the following mental health conditions: Eating disorders; Generalized anxiety disorder; Major depression; Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Substance use disorders and Suicide. The risk for these disorders may be greater for people who have experienced a sexual assault at a younger age.


It is important to know that seeking help is not a sign of weakness and seeking such help in the right places, i.e. with a certified clinical psychologist, is a sure way of ensuring that victims live their best possible lives even after such traumatic experiences.

There are treatments available that have been found to be very successful in relieving the negative symptoms that develop after a sexual assault experience. Such treatment includes Exposure Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

It is never too late to seek help even if it happened 30 years ago, as PTSD can be a lifetime disorder if not treated appropriately. DiamondMoor Ibadan is a center that offers psychotherapy for numerous psychological issues.  We have been offering services for several years and with testimonies to back them up. Following the recent up rise in the report of cases of gender based violence, we as a group of concerned clinical psychologists are rendering free individual and group therapy for victims of any form of gender based violence inclusive of

* Rape/childhood sexual abuse

* Intimate partner violence

* Emotional and psychological abuse.

This program will run between July 13th and August 7th 2020. Interested individuals are expected to register from 13th July by calling 081 2827 6962, +234 2291 4084 or other numbers on the fliers. The sessions are absolutely free during the stated dates.