Bevincia Semper experienced some tragic events growing up which marked her tremendously; one day, as she was walking home, she was sexually assaulted by a boy in her area and from that day she developed a strong hatred towards men. To make matters worse, on her younger brother’s birthday, a day when she was excited to celebrate with her family—Bevincia, her siblings and parents—were getting ready to go out when all of a sudden, her mother collapsed. She never got up.
The devastating blow left her mourning for her mother. Who could she turn to now? She needed inner healing, but where could she go to find it? This amazing survivor shares her story with us here:
‘When my mum passed, I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I felt alone. She was the only person I felt comfortable enough to speak to. Now that she was gone, I didn’t know what to do. I was torn between deep sorrow for my mother’s passing and panic and dread about what had happened to me and I felt anger and hatred towards all men.
To me, all men were like the boy who had assaulted me, and I thought that they wanted to take advantage of me, so I didn’t trust or feel comfortable around them. When I looked at men, all I could see was that boy. Because of this, I lashed out at my brother and became distant towards my father.
I shut myself off from everyone and became anxious. I started to develop symptoms similar to those of my late mum. This made me paranoid that I would collapse and die suddenly like she had. I would think to myself that I was going to die at any moment, and so I couldn’t sleep for the fear of not waking up the next day, so I had no peace. Nevertheless, I always put on a front to show that I was okay’.
Bevincia carried this burden with her for many years until she invited to the Universal Church by a friend.
‘What I heard there challenged me to believe that somehow, things could get better for me. I heard of others who’d been through similar traumas and were now happy. This gave me hope. I began attending the weekly meetings and I spoke to someone about what had happened to me. Little by little I started to work through what I had been keeping inside.
Dealing with the abuse and the loss of my mother wasn’t easy and coming to terms with it certainly didn’t happen overnight. I had to fight the doubts I had telling me that my life wouldn’t change, that I couldn’t be happy like the people I met at the church. But eventually, I chose not to be defined by the tragedies in my life. The advisors really encouraged me throughout this time.
Today I can sincerely say that I have found inner healing and have overcome the hurts of the past. The change I have experienced has come from the inside and I have found inner peace. My relationship with my family has also changed and we are now united, and my siblings and I have never been closer, so there is peace at home. My dad has seen such a difference in us that he is now inviting other family members to the Universal Church. I know that this is only the beginning of greater things for us all’