Qtalk: Trans woman seeks guidance after surviving sexual assault

LGBTQ+ Nigerians benefit from the support provided by volunteer counselors via the Qtalk app, which is supported by this site and by the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation.

Chidera, a 20-year-old transgender woman residing in a rural Nigerian community, sought counseling support following a traumatic experience of sexual assault. She currently lives with her grandmother, navigating the challenges of being transgender in a conservative environment. The session aimed to provide Chidera with a safe space to process her feelings, address her trauma, and explore coping strategies.

Chidera expressed her deep fear, confusion, and distress resulting from the sexual assault. She struggled with feelings of shame and guilt, grappling with societal stigma surrounding her gender identity.

“I feel like I’m drowning in darkness, like I can’t escape the pain. It’s hard to even look at myself in the mirror,” she said.

Chidera emphasized the importance of her grandmother’s support, acknowledging the challenges of being transgender in a traditional community. However, she also felt hesitant to burden her grandmother with her trauma, fearing further isolation.

Given the conservative nature of her community, Chidera expressed concerns about her safety and well-being. She feared potential backlash and discrimination if her transgender identity were to be revealed.

The session focused on exploring healthy coping mechanisms to manage Chidera’s emotional distress. Techniques such as mindfulness, journaling, and seeking support from LGBTQ+ communities were discussed to empower Chidera in reclaiming her sense of agency and resilience.

Chidera left the session with a renewed sense of hope and determination to overcome her trauma. She expressed gratitude for the opportunity to voice her experiences in a non-judgmental space and vowed to prioritize her mental health and well-being moving forward.

Chidera reflected, “I never realized how much I needed to talk about this until now. Thank you for listening and helping me see a way forward.”

The session concluded with a plan for ongoing support and follow-up sessions to monitor Chidera’s progress and provide continued guidance as she navigates her healing journey.

Source: African Human Rights Media Network member Erasing 76 Crimes.

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