22 February 2019
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An incident that took away my confident

Patricia turned into a shy and sad teenager after she was sexually abused at the age of 16. The incident that took her innocence away happened when she was walking from a church night vigil with her friends.

"There were four of us.  It was still very early in the morning when we were attacked by two men. One of them grabbed me and dragged me to the nearest bushes where he sexually abused me. He left me there and disappeared.  I was unable to walk properly. I stumbled with tears flowing down my face until I got to the main road where I was found by strangers who took me home,” said Patricia.

"We reported the case to the police and my perpetrator was later arrested. Attending the court case and seeing my perpetrator made it difficult for me to heal from the ordeal. I was never the same person again. I felt he had killed my innocence and left me dirty. At school, teachers and fellow learners would refer to me as that girl who was sexually abused," she said.

Patricia completed her matric and enrolled for a course in public administration, but battled to find a job afterwards. She was invited to the Universal Church in 2000.

"I attended services on Wednesdays for my spiritual healing. At a service I understood that I needed to relieve myself of the emotional pain I suffered by forgiving the man who was already serving his sentence in prison. Forgiving him brought me so much peace and opened windows for blessings. I got a job and I later married. The presence of God gave me peace and a forgiving heart. I am now walking in His fullness," said Patricia