The Lost Souls

How does one return to a state of normality in their life after once being held an unfortunate captive?

The Boko Haram is a group of Islamic extremists that name translates to “Western Sin”. The group is built upon the belief that western education is a purported act of sin, and they are notorious for kidnapping women as a block from education. Though founded in 2002, Boko Haram only rose into action in 2009. Imagine being held as a hostage for years under gruelling condition; that is exactly what the captive survivors have endured in their enslavement by the extremists. You can only imagine the post traumatic stress that these women now face. According to resources, 214 out of 234 freed captives are impregnated as a result from constant acts of sexual assault. The barrier is visible now, with the public judging these women as defiled.

The exact number of kidnapped women is still not identified up to this day. So you can presume in horror of the unknown souls who are still facing the wraths of Boko Haram at this moment. These souls are often ruined, forced to change their religion from Christian to Islam, even tormented to the point of no return. They are forced to abandon their religion and marry into Islam against their own will. Teenage girls even may never see their families again. Their parents, sisters, brothers, all parted from them forever. What did they do to deserve this? What will happen to their inner state once, - if - they get to meet broad daylight again? 

Of course, we see that this event marks the captives with bruises and wounds that may take time to heal. But what we sometimes fail to discern is the unpleasant scar in the soul of these abducted women, - and that may never heal. Once rescued, they are arranged to live under the same roof as a new set of strangers, though the hospitality differs greatly from there in Boko Haram. Even so, this sudden change is once again forced upon them. This results in the instability of their mental health, and hence creating barriers as a protection for themselves. Those who only try to help are at inconvenience.

Clearly, we now understand the repercussions of such a vile act. These poor hostages lack education and their well-being are only deteriorating if we do not help them to recover. We do not want these lost souls to be kept in the dark forever without any knowledge known by them. They can never survive on their own; they were never even given a chance to be opinionated beforehand. 

This is not the time to be selfish. We must unite to help these girls to become independent and shout to the extremists of Boko Haram that the world is constantly progressing. No matter how hard they try, progression is inevitable. You can’t stop us from bringing back our girls. Quoting, “You survived the abuse. You're going to survive the recovery” - Unknown.

Written by Grace Sim & Lydia Leong


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