Speaking about incest sexual abuse is not a taboo

Musenge Musomali
Posted October 5, 2017 from Zambia
I am not a victim but a survivor
Together we can end incest sexual abuse!!

My name is Musenge Musomali, a Zambian woman aged 36 years old. I am the founder of a non profit organisation known as Liberated Hearts Foundation. I am a survivor of incest child sexual abuse. I was also subjected to physical, psychological, emotional, mental and sexual abuse under the roof of my own parents.

During the early years of my childhood, i viewed our home as a safe environment where i would grow up to be whatever i wanted to be. My parents were educated with decent jobs; my father was an accountant and my mother a nurse. Therefore having a good education was important in our home.

When i was seven years old, everything changed in our home. My father became physically and emotionally abusive towards my mother ,sister and three brothers. Since i was my fathers favourite child, he was always good to me and spared me from the beatings that everyone else endured.

While my father was focused on my mother and older siblings, i suffered silently. One of my brothers begun to sexually abuse me. At first it seemed like a nightmare but as time went back i realised it was real and withdrew into my own world of pain and isolation. No one noticed that i had changed because it seemed as though everyone of us had a number of issues to deal with and we all had developed ways to cope with the abuse that we were all going through. I witnessed the fights almost every day and got used to seeing my mother ,sister and brothers cry.

One would think that on days my father was away from home we would experience peace and quiet but that wasnt the case, my brothers and sister would engage in violent fights with each other Eventually i got used to the fights and it became a normal part of my life.

The abuse continued until my father fell ill and passed on when i was ten years old. For three years i was sexually abused in my parents home and my father passed one without ever knowing what i was going through under his roof.

After the death of my father, i thought the sexual abuse would stop but i was wrong. My one brother stopped and another brother begun to sexually abuse me until i was fourteen years old. At this point i got accustomed to the sexual abuse to a point where i became emotionless.

For my mother, she may have thought her tormentor was gone and she could get some peace but she too was wrong. My brothers became totally uncontrollable and on many occassions physically and emotionally abused her. I felt sorry for her because my father had created three replicas of himself and she suffered greatly on his behalf. I wish he lived to see the kind of children turned monsters he had created

It was not long and she too fell seriously ill and passed on. At that time my sister had already left home and was married. Since she was the oldest child , she took on the responsibility of taking care of all of us.luckily i was sent to boarding school and that was my escape from the sexual abuse.

While at boarding, my brothers continued to terrorise my sister and it was all like an endless nightmare. During the holidays, i escaped into a world of alcohol abuse, drugs and illicit with older men around my neighbourhood. We were a highly dysfunctional family and we had no one to help us.

My sister noticed that i had become rebellious but she could not control me despite hitting with belts on a number of occassions. I continued to misbehave until i completed my high school. A few months after i completed my high school, one of my brothers got meningtis and died. A year after his death, my sister passed away too.

Suddenly, my family was falling apart quickly and unexpectedly. Like it was not enough to lose my parents, brother and sister; another brother died leaving only my immediate and myself. I was nineteen years at the time and was involved with a certain man so i moved in with him. My older brother got married and went away to live with his wife and family.

I thought life would be easy but i had walked into a physically, psychologically, mentally and emotionally abusive relationship. I endured the abuse because i did not have anywhere to go.During the first year of the relationship i got pregnant and when child was born i had experienced so much pain to an extent that i accepted the life i was leading. Unfortunately ,two months after the birth of the baby; she died from pneumonia

After the child's death, i finally gathered the courage to leave after he threatened to kill me. When i finally left, i went to live with my elder sisters best friend and there i continued my destructive behaviour for two more years.

At the age of twenty one i begun to think critically about my life after a long illness with Tuberculosis. When i recovered, i begun to volunteer at an organisation known as Our Ladys' Hospice as a counsellor. From that moment, my life took a whole different turn and i became an inspiration to many people. I shared my story on different public forums and wrote articles about my ordeal.

Its been fifteen years working of different non profit organisations. So early this year, i decided to register a non profit organisation to address various issues related to incest child sexual abuse specifically the sexual abuse that happens in homes which is perpetuated by close and trusted family members.

I have since come out to speak publicly about my ordeal and my past has not stopped me from being a productive member of society. Being abused has not stopped me from pursuing my dreams and contributing positively to the lives of other people. To make a difference, i embarked on a campaign termed ‘Tough It Out’. Tough It Out was an aggressive online campaign via Facebook page aimed at disseminating of information on effects of child sexual abuse on the child, family and community. A few months ago, i turned the facebook page into fully functional organisation facebook page.

As a survivor of incest in a home, i am determined, and wont quit trying to bring this atrocious and evil act to the attention of the public. Many survivors are ashamed to speak against incest because of the consequences, its sensitive nature and public reaction. My organisation, Liberated Heart Foundation intends to help survivors in the healing process by providing spiritual, psychological, mental and emotional counsel and also reach out to families with informative messages on incest. The Foundation is sending a strong message that it condemns incest, speaking about incest sexual abuse is not a taboo and there is no justification for such an evil act. With an holistic approach to the problem, it is possible to make a change in our communities and countries because incest is a global issue which affects everyone.

This story was submitted in response to Share On Any Topic.

Comments 7

Log in or register to post comments
Hannah B
Oct 05, 2017
Oct 05, 2017

Hello!  Thank you so much for sharing your story. It sounds like you have been through some very difficult times in your life, and that you are determined to help other girls and women.  I am looking forward to hearing more about your work and the Liberated Heart Foundation! 

Kind regards, Hannah 

JulieG
Oct 05, 2017
Oct 05, 2017

Welcome to World Pulse Musenge,

Thank you so much for sharing your story and the ordeal of your youth.  You certainly are determined, and it's remarkable what you've been able to create .  You are right, no subject should be taboo.  Even just speaking about something can be your first step to healing.  I look forward to reading more from you and hearing about the impact of your foundation.

Musenge Musomali
Oct 05, 2017
Oct 05, 2017

Thank You for your encouraging comments. 

As Liberated Hearts Foundation , we have engaged in door to door awareness campaigns in selected communities. Liberated Hearts Foundation catchment areas are Lusaka and Kafue Districts and there are many communities involved. Our current focus is certain communities which have a greater number of people for much more impact. We will move to other areas in due course as there is a lot to do in only one given community. The greatest challenge is that the shame and embarrassment attached to incest sexual abuse makes it difficult for some families to disclose that a child has been abused in a home. With aggressive door to door awareness campaigns we hope to make a difference, survivor testimonies have a great impact and i will share some stories and also pictures from our upcoming campaigns. Thank you for your support. 

Lumbiwe Lulu Limbikani
Oct 06, 2017
Oct 06, 2017

Musenge, 

I am so proud of you for taking this step. Reading your story, I know you will continue to speak out for the voiceless. I am inspired by your strength and will support you all the way. Big up girl!

Jill Langhus
Oct 06, 2017
Oct 06, 2017

Hi Musenge. Welcome to World Pulse:) I can relate to incestual abuse as I endured it, too. I literally blocked it all out until I had to face it in my mid-thirties due to health issues. I still find it challenging to feel my self worth and I'm still working on the feeling that my best is good enough. I like being a black sheep, but not in this way:) It's amazing how if we don't get core necessities when we are young, that it can mess with us until we resolve the issues/beliefs. I'm still not sure when I'll be able to address this publicly, as I feel called to help girls and women, too, but I don't feel like I can really "come out of the closet" with it yet, as I have friends and family on FB that would be shocked, and my dad is in denial of what he did anyway. What is your website, and social pages, so that I can follow them? Thanks so much for being so courageous and determined to be the change and tell your story. You're truly an inspiration.

Musenge Musomali
Oct 06, 2017
Oct 06, 2017

Thank you Lulu & jlanghus for you wonderful and encouraging comments.

Jlanghus, i totally understand what you are going through. It is not easy to come out and i can understand your hesitation. Give yourself time to heal and as you share it becomes lighter. The greatest step is acknowledging that you still need help in certain areas. Please like our facebook page and i hope that you will find the page helpful. https://www.facebook.com/liberatedheartsfoundation.mail/

Jill Langhus
Oct 08, 2017
Oct 08, 2017

Hi there. I only just saw your comment. In order for people to see your responses/comments, you need to select the comment, otherwise they won't know you responded, FYI:-) Thanks for sharing your page:) I will follow it.

Related Stories