Words are powerful. Words evoke emotion. They take you to a time or place, they jog your memory, they bring back sights, smells, tastes. What if a word that brought back a bad memory, a traumatic experience, was tossed around casually? What if nearly everywhere you went, you heard this word? And you just couldn’t escape it
230 high school girls in Nigeria were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Depending on what you read, some escaped, some were forcefully married, some were taken across the border, and some … well … we don’t know what happened to them. What is STILL happening to them. And their families are driving themselves crazy thinking about it, wondering about it, imagining what is being done to these girls.
. So it’s not just their bodies being broken. Their minds are being broken too. In addition to what is being done to them, they are questioning where their God is, where their government is, why they ever bothered going to school.
You see, rape ISN’T just a word. It’s a weapon. And every time someone uses it lightly, it evokes the entire experience. When a woman is walking in a wide street in broad daylight, and a man cat-calls her, and she ignores him, and he causally says how he will rape her, it isn’t just a word. It’s a memory of the torture she went through. And it’s enough to take her out of that bright street and into the hell that was her rape. She may be standing there safe and sound, but in her mind, she’s back in the worst place and time of her life.