Africa: Survivor and Trauma Coach Emmy Marie On the Psychological Effects of Gender-Based Violence

"I experienced an abusive relationship as a teenager from ages 15 almost through to 18," says Emmy Marie. "But since I wasn't being beaten as the main form of trauma, I never really understood that this was abuse until it was way too late." Now a certified trauma coach, Emmy Marie has built her career around raising awareness of the different forms that gender-based violence can take - and helping fellow survivors to overcome the long-lasting impacts of abuse.

She spoke to Piera Van de Wiel, singer-songwriter and the founder of Stronger With Music about shame - and overcoming it -- in the third episode of Spotlight Initiative's #WithHer Talks.

"Shame is often imparted on victims of abuse or any kind of trauma directly by an abuser... through verbal abuse, emotional abuse, name-calling," explains Emmy Marie. "[They are] essentially getting that victim to feel like there is something wrong with them because that is what keeps the perpetrator or the system of power in power."

While she says it can be difficult, there are strategies that survivors can use to reject shame. "It takes a lot of conscious effort but you can develop or cultivate a voice of self-compassion which is really the antidote to shame," she says.

Emmy Marie shares some of those strategies in the video below.

Find out more about Emmy Marie's work by following her on social media at @bloomingwithemmy or via her website

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