Veteran Nigerian actress, Stella Damascus has opened up about the trauma she faced after she was sexually assaulted at the age of 8 by a relation.

The ‘Widow’ star narrated how she was molested by a supposed relative at a tender age.

The 43 years old mother of two shared her story while explaining why she had been calm about the recent rape issue.

“I hate it when people come and say this thing happened to you, why are you just talking about it now. Bouqui, it has happened to me, I don’t say this anywhere, I have never said this before, it has happened to me, it wasn’t rape, it was molestation, by someone who was supposed to be related to me.

“I was eight years old, I couldn’t talk about it for years because it traumatised me, nobody knew, I was dealing with it myself, why couldn’t I talk, I knew what happened to others who had spoken up about it, they were disgraced, if you see the shame, even in school, once the word got out, it was about her being a prostitute even as young as we were, they would call you names, so man has seen you? Man has touched you? It’s not about what you’re going through, at the end of the day you spend years dealing with your trauma and we are not in a society that believes in “oh! go and see a therapist to talk about it for counseling,” said Damasus.

The award-winning actress continued saying, “You get raped, you get beaten, you get molested, at the end of the day what did you wear? Why did you go to his house? Why did you entice him? Why were you flirting with him? It is never guys why would you touch a little girl, why would you put her on your lap? and start touching her, even the one that happened with this Ijesha guy, the fact that people will come up and say ‘let us see the video as proof’ Are you mad? This is the rut in the society that I am talking about, you want to spread the video of a girl being touched, I don’t care if he was touching even only her cheek I do not care, he has no right to violate someone else’s child, you cannot shame someone who has already gone through a traumatic experience and was even afraid to talk about that experience.”

The actress who is also a singer went on further to disclose how she was able to get over it with the help of a therapist she met in the United Kingdom when she attended a conference, she said: “I had to start all over, start life again even though I was much older, I had to accept the real me.

Then, I had the opportunity of going to the UK, we were at a conference and I was speaking at the conference, I didn’t realise I said something that made people so emotional, I was just talking from my heart and you know when you are talking from your heart, you will just start to say stuff and before you know it you will say something people will say ‘oh I didn’t know that and as soon as we finished the guy held my hand, I will never forget, he is Ghanian but lives in the UK, he said Stella I want to talk to you, so I sat with him and he said this is what I think you’re facing and you haven’t dealt with it, you are affecting and impacting people but there is something in you that you have to deal with totally, I said how did you know, and he said it’s not so hard to know. I listened to you and when you listen, you understand you don’t just hear, that’s what a lot of people miss out on, you have to speak to someone who will listen and not just hear and then he spoke to me and I responded to his questions and he said to me this is what you need to do.

And I started taking steps, that was when I learned about words of affirmation, that was when I learned to love myself unconditionally, I started loving people, I forgave the guy. I had to forgive him because I held on to that thing for so long it was killing me, but I had to forgive him and say God if you can take this away from me and make me whole again I will let him go and forgive him but you handle him. He is not doing very well by the way, but anyway, that is by the way”, she said.