…The most disheartening part of the story is that when she arrived the hospital and was told to explain what had happened to her she said, it was in an attempt to split wood that she had an accident and punctured her eye. Really? Was she splitting the wood on her eyes or in her eyes?
It was on the 25th of November 2014, day of non violence against women and while staff and volunteers of a non-governmental organization are busy in two markets trying to sensitize the population on violence against women, Mme Elizabeth is been violated by her husband because of a kitchen...okay I know this is getting complicated and you may not get it so let me coordinate these ideas and explain.
Mme Elizabeth is a mother of four; she is married and lives with her husband and four kids in mile 6 Mankon. She wakes up every morning and cooks for her children and gets them ready to go to school. On the morning of 25th November (International day of non violence against women) this woman wakes in the morning and cooks for her kids as usual, and her husband comes to inform her that he needs to break her kitchen and build a home for his pigs, and she doesn’t agree. One thing leads to another and eventually her husband pulls out a piece of wood from the fire and pieces her left eye, and goes ahead to tell her that he owns the property and thus has the right to do what he pleases with the property.
The most disheartening part of the story is that when she arrived the hospital and was told to explain what had happened to her she said, it was in an attempt to split wood that she had an accident and punctured her eye. Really? Was she splitting the wood on her eyes or in her eyes? Anyway more startling facts coming up in the paragraphs below…
When COMINSUD staff Nkwenti Marie-Claire was called to attend to a case of violence in the mile 6 neighborhood she immediately rushed to the scene where she was told that the victim was in the farm, she moved to the lady’s farm and when she asked the lady what had happened she narrated the whole story as it happened but also added that she wouldn’t like her husband to be punished for the act.
WHY?
‘Well because that is the first time he is doing that and he is sorry’, he had apologized to her. Now dear women Is it enough to deprive me of one eye and apologize? Women are made to believe that their primary role is in the kitchen and that they are to be seen and not heard so then why does her kitchen need to be destroyed? So that she shouldn’t be seen or heard at all?
Most people think that violence against women is a cock and bull story but it is real. Each time we try to cover up the perpetrators’ of violence, we contribute to promote the cycle of violence, each time we find out that these things are happening and don’t speak up we contribute to promote the cycle of violence, and even when we have solutions and don’t offer them,we contribute to violence against women.
According to the Delegate of the Divisional Delegation of Women’s empowerment and the family for Mezam, at least 25 cases of violence against women are reported monthly, and most are cases of domestic violence. Good enough that people have started speaking up but what about the ones we don’t know? What about the likes of Mme Elizabeth who prefer to cover up the perpetrators’, will the cycle of violence end if there is no violence? can there be violence if it is not reported?lets think together.
Everyone has a role to play in their community: men, boys, religious leaders, local politicians, barbers, food stall sellers, shop owners, teachers, doctors and police officers this campaign hopes to. Because of kitchen hot firewood, cooking for her 4 children.
Let us strengthen the solidarity of women in our communities by reporting cases of violence, Monitoring cases and continuously sensitizing against these ills together we can create tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.
Ironically Elizabeth wants the violence to stop and she proudly holds a sticker produced by COMINSUD shun violence against women,but she tells every other person who cares to know why her eye is plastered that she had an accident.

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Dear Linda,

I was very interested to read your journal post about the story of Mme Elizabeth. I find it very baffling that victims of domestic violence deny or even defend their perpetrators' abuse, but I have nothing but compassion for them, as I know you do too. She must be so very afraid. Living with someone who is abusive corrodes one's sense of worth and even faith in one's own sanity and reality over time. That must be what has happened to Mme. Elizabeth. It is so tragic.

I wholeheartedly agree with you when you write: "Each time we try to cover up the perpetrators’ of violence, we contribute to promote the cycle of violence, each time we find out that these things are happening and don’t speak up we contribute to promote the cycle of violence, and even when we have solutions and don’t offer them,we contribute to violence against women."

What a powerful, true statement.

YES, we all MUST speak up when we witness or even merely suspect violence against anyone. The victims of violence and more silent, insidious forms of abuse that happens "under the radar" need to know that someone notices, someone cares and that what is happening is NOT normal or acceptable. We also have to do our best to let them know that we understand; we do not judge; we are there for them 100%, regardless of whether they choose to stay with their abuser or not. Waking up to what is occurring in a relationship is not as simple as walking away. There are decades of conditioning at play, and learned helplessness/low self-esteem to be reckoned with. With enough care and compassion and validation, women can learn that they are worth so much more than what they've settled for.

You have given me much to think about Linda. Thank you for your wise words.

Love, Susan

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being." -Hafiz

I totally agree,the victims of violence need to know that someone notices, someone cares and that what is happening is NOT normal or acceptable.Mme Elizabeth is just one of the thousands of victims out there.It is very normal to find victims of violence in Cameroon behave in a similar way .

and yes 'With enough care and compassion and validation, women can learn that they are worth so much more than what they've settled for.'I think this reminds me that I have a lot of work to do.I have a friend who wants to counsel victims of violence but she cannot find them.i cannot continue to contribute to violence against women,i must find them and take them to someone who cares and wants to show them that they are worth so much more than what they've settled for.

Ngobesing Linda The Voice with sound quality queen of eloquence