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Stella Damasus, a veteran Nollywood actress, has recounted how she was assaulted when she was eight years old.

The ‘Widow’ star told how she was assaulted by a supposed relative when she was a child in a live session with Bouqui, which was broadcast on The Nation.

The 43-year-old mother of two recounted her tale and explained why she was unfazed by the new rape allegations.

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“I despise it when people come up to me and say, ‘This happened to you, why are you only now talking about it?’ Bouqui, it has happened to me, I don’t say this anyplace, I’ve never said this before, it has happened to me, it wasn’t rape, it was molestation by someone who was meant to be connected to me, and it wasn’t rape, it was molestation by someone who was supposed to be connected to me.

“I was eight years old, I couldn’t talk about it for years because it traumatized me, nobody knew, I was coping with it myself, why couldn’t I say, I knew what happened to others who had spoken up about it, they were shamed, if you saw the shame, even in school, once the word came out, it was about her being a prostitute, even as young as we were, they would call you names, so guy, have you seen me? Have you been touched by a man? It doesn’t matter what you’re going through; at the end of the day, you’ve spent years coping with your trauma, and we don’t live in a society that believes in “well, go visit a therapist and talk about it for counseling,” Damasus explained.

“You get raped, you get beaten, you get molested, at the end of the day what did you wear?” the award-winning actress said. What drew you to his home? Why did you try to seduce him? Why were you flirting with him in the first place? It’s never a good idea for a guy to touch a tiny girl or place her on his lap. and begin touching her, even in the case of this Ijesha guy, where others would come up to you and say, “Let us see the video as proof.” Are you insane? This is the societal rut I’m referring to; you want to distribute a video of a girl being touched, but you can’t. I don’t care if he was simply stroking her cheek; he has no right to violate another person’s child, and you can’t shame someone who has already been through a horrible event and is reluctant to talk about it.”

The actress, who is also a singer, went on to say how she was able to overcome it with the help of a therapist she met at a conference in the United Kingdom, saying, “I had to start all over, start life over, even though I was much older, I had to accept the real myself.” Then I had the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom, where I spoke at a conference. I didn’t realize I said something that made people so emotional because I was just talking from my heart, and when you’re talking from your heart, you just start saying something and before you know it, you’ll say something that people will say, “Oh, I didn’t know that,” and as soon as we finished, people would say, “Oh, I didn’t know that.” You are affecting and impacting people, but there is something in you that you must completely deal with; I asked how he knew, and he replied it wasn’t difficult to figure out. I listened to you, and when you listen, you understand that you don’t just hear; that’s what a lot of people miss out on; you have to speak to someone who would listen rather than just hear, and then he spoke to me, and I answered his questions, and he told me this is what I needed to do.

And I began to take steps; that is when I learnt about affirmations, when I learnt to love myself unconditionally, when I began to love others, and when I forgave the guy. I had to forgive him because holding on to that thing was killing me, but I had to forgive him and say to God, if you can take this away from me and make me whole again, I’ll forgive him and let him go, but you handle him. He’s not doing so well, by the way, but that’s beside the point,” she explained.

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