Sister Jeong Mi Lee, M.M. works as a somatic psychotherapist with rape survivors in the African nation of Zimbabwe. As she explains, “Soma is the Greek word for body. In somatic psychotherapy, we believe in the four elements of the body: the physical body, the emotional body, the spiritual body and the mental body. We work to balance these four elements to help us have a healthier life.”
The women and girls (and some men and boys) Sister Jeong Mi works with usually have very little support apart from her and the clinic where she works, even from their own families. There is a high tolerance for “date rape” type situations in Zimbabwean society; a stigma attached to being a rape “victim,” and often few effective legal avenues that can be pursued.
“I am trying to give my clients corrective experiences, so that they can get back to their own reality and try and build their own safe, healthy relationships.” Due to privacy needs, we can’t show you any pictures of Sister Jeong Mi’s clients.
In addition to Sister Jeong Mi’s counselling, the clinic provides medical care and medicine for those who have been sexually assaulted. They also conduct educational workshops—with residents, health care workers and police officers—to try to reduce the number of rapes and changing attitudes about respecting a person’s right to say “no.”
“And that is what our donors make possible. Their prayers and donations—even small ones—make my work actually happen. So I really do appreciate them and I want them to know that it’s their work as well.”
With your support, these survivors can receive one of the most valuable tools for healing—the knowledge that someone cares, and they do not have to endure the pain, the shame, and the trauma alone.