ON the 13 February, I cried. It was supposed to be a happy day for me since it was my birthday and also a day I chose to carry out one of my demystify abuse campaign, and this event as significant as it is always makes me happy and fulfilled. But this day was different.
So I got to the venue of my campaign, “DEMYSTIFY ABUSE CAMPAIGN”, a secondary school in Port Harcourt. During the counselling session, some students came to tell us of their experiences and of course ask questions on what next steps to take. While with them, a woman barged into the classroom we were using and rudely asked us all to move into another office where she called the guidance and counselling room.
I did not know who she was and it wasn’t till a few minutes that she arrogantly introduced herself as the guidance counsellor in the school, and I was shocked.
Shocked at how unruly she acted. She began by saying no such event should happen without her involvement and knowledge; that was when it dawned on me that it was an ego battle.
She said if the students needed to tell anyone about their problems, it should be her and the other counsellor and not just any other person – I understood her point, BUT…
I told a teacher to tell her that the way she was acting was enough reason to scare the troubled students from ever going to her, she overheard it and began to scream – asking me if I was about to teach her how to do her job. She did not fail to remind me that she has a PhD in counseling.
As she kept taking, my mind quickly conjured up the lady boss in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”.
The she went ahead to tell us how many children she had in university. I kept wondering where all these fitted into the day’s agenda.
It was long enough before my team and I got to understand what her issue was and we went into the office. We were dealing with an insecure, inconsiderate and ‘unsympathetic’ guidance counsellor who really needs to be taught the place of self-control and empathy in the line of her Job_ one which she had no passion, zeal and heart for.
As made to enter, NONE OF THE STUDENTS AGREED to go with us – she told of how Godzilla-like she was and how one of them (a sexually abused student) went into her office to share her pain with her and the counsellor flogged her and chased her back to her class and that was one of the students that came to seek a listening ear from us.
NOW, THE TEARS BEGAN to freely roll down my eyes and unto my cheek when I thought of the harm that her actions had done.
I cried because of the students.
I cried for the victims who have not been able to tell anyone about their pain.
I cried for the generation of growing children we are breeding.
I cried for that woman’s children and for those she is guiding.
I put my children in the shoes of these students.
I HAVE a growing beef with people who are in professions and vocations with out any passion for the profession.
Could you please imagine a medical doctor with no passion for his job, he would with his scapula kill more patients than the disease or the health condition that brought them to the hospital. Imagine that same doctor with little knowledge or no knowledge about medicine; also try to imagine this same doctor with no atom of empathy.
Now, imagine an ego driven ignorant passionless medical doctor
Imagine a guidance counselor with no passion and with no atom of empathy for his or her phone.
While we are trying hard to demystify abuse, to talk about it, to help change the pattern of living for victims and to help them heal faster, while we are raising and pushing campaign against stigmatization and most importantly against rape, we cannot do these effectively if an integral part of our society – guidance counselors are silently and subtly ensuring our goal is not achieved.
While on the campaign, I noticed that it is not just parents that should reoriented on rape, sexual abuse and their role in the eradication of rape and stigmatisation for those previously rape.