Yoni reclamation is key to recovery from Girls and women who are sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and / or raped are violated at our very core. In Sanskrit, the female genitalia are referred to as yoni. The meaning of the word itself is akin to ‘source’. Female genitals – vulva, vagina, and womb – are collectively the source of life; but not just the source of the next generation. Our genitals are the source of our sexual pleasure, and when we have been abused, that sense of pleasure is interfered with.
I have spoken with many women who express deep shame as a result of experiencing sexual pleasure when they were abused as children. No matter how often they are told that a sexual reaction to sexual touch is not something they had control over, they are still upset and disgusted with themselves. For many, it is ‘proof’ that they were complicit in their own abuse, which makes them deeply conflicted.
Reclaiming her yoni – and all its power, and joy, and beauty, and promise, and orgasmic glory – is one of the hardest parts of recovering from sexual abuse for any woman. It’s made harder still because of the lack of recognition of the damage that is done, at a primal level, to women when they are abused. If there is no public acknowledgement of the need to reclaim something, then accessing the resources to do so is difficult, if not impossible.
Many healthcare professionals – including doulas and midwives – have no understanding of the deep wounds inflicted on women and their psyches when they are sexually abused. This makes receiving healthcare fraught with difficulty, and the potential for re-traumatisation cannot be underestimated. If your pain, and your trauma has not been acknowledged, has not been addressed, how – and where – do you go to heal?
If the fact that something has been taken from you is not something about which you are encouraged to talk, or think – or even feel – how do you go about getting it back? The first thing we need to do – personally, and as a society – is acknowledge that the yoni of the sexually abused woman, and its energy, has been misappropriated by their abuser/s, Only then we can start to think about how to reclaim it.