My Journey

annadassa
Posted September 17, 2015 from Netherlands Antilles

My Journey……………

Born on the Island of Curacao and the second of four siblings. I was called Lucette Kwidama, a French first name with an African last-name. But I’m not French or African. As you know more than 300 years ago a great amount of African people were shipped to the West to work as slaves. African people were scattered in different places even in Curacao. That’s the reason why I’m part of the African Diaspora!

Curacao is located in the Caribbean Sea. North West of South America and the closest Country is Venezuela. Curacao was conquered by various countries like Spain, Netherlands, England and France to name a few. That’s why our Native language is Afro-Portuguese. But because of the influence of different countries we are using in our Afro-Portuguese language called Papiamentu different foreign words. The African country of Cape Verde speaks almost the same like our Papiamentu!

The Natives from Venezuela were the first inhabitants of our Island and lived here since about 2500 years BC.Curacao is only 444 square kilometers and I live in the biggest and most populated area of our Island. The population is about 154000 thousand people. Curacao became since 2010 together with Aruba, Dutch St Maarten and the Netherlands part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Since 1954 until 2010 the Islands were the Netherlands Antilles consisting of six Islands and then 5. The three smallest Island became since 2010 semi-municipalitiesof the Netherlands. Aruba was already a country in the Kingdom for more than 20 years. The Netherlands Antilles stopped to exist since October 10th, 2010. Before 1954, Curacao was a colony of the Spain and then the Netherlands! I am a Dutch citizen and a resident of the Island of Curacao, Dutch Caribbean!

I'm the mother of two, a Son of 20 and a daughter of 15 years of age. My son just left to study Music and Production in the Netherlands. He love to make Music because for him that’s the way to deal with everything he had to go through as a very young boy. It was for me a big challenge to see him go, but thank God it went smooth. Social media was and is the key!

I'm a survivor of Domestic Violence and with domestic I don't mean only home but also country. My former husband was very abusive especially verbal. He also was a high government official and abuse was at the level of his position. I had a business and I became entangled in a situation that until the day of today there is still some pieces of the puzzle missing. But my God will never leave any stone unturned if the purpose is for everything to come to light. Before the government got his chance in our lives, my marriage was already wounded. You can never stand or be strong as a person or family when there is division.

Former husband choose the side of the government and marriage was over. I was alone, weak and broken. I became the star of the media, every day and I mean every day I was in the newspaper and on the radio, with something to damage my reputation. Despite of everything I have all reasons to thank God for life…!

Divorce was filed, verbal abuse increased, media abuse increased, lies by ex-husband that my daughter was raped by my nephew came into picture. My nephew was at that moment in time 16 years of age. It was difficult for him to deal with this horrible lie. At age 21 he became sick, and died at age 21! It was too much for him to bear. He was like a son for me, he was a sweet young men that I loved as a son. It’s already six years that he left us.

Because of the false rape case I had to visit a psychologist that was appointed by the justice department with my daughter. When we reached police officers were waiting for my 4 years old daughter so she can help them with a lie that she was raped. The amount of police officers at the location was not normal. 4 years old and she had to deal with a psychologist and police officers alone. I was not allowed to be with her, until it did not work out for the justice system. They had to call me inside because they needed a helping hand. I had to leave my son alone. But, how a little child playing with a doll and cooking will let you see something that never happened???????? It was a big dirty and messy game…!

My difficulty now is,……….Where do I start!

Domestic Violence is a big issue here in Curacao. Many homes are a battlefields every moment of the day. And, it’s not easy to get support of the government here on the Island, It’s not only a women thing but also, children, men, and the elderly. Here are some figures:

2014: 987 new cases of Domestic Violence, 90 more then 2013! An Average of 82 cases per month. August & October were the busiest months: 90 & 104 Cases. Oldest client was age 92 Youngest client age 6. Between ages 71 -75 : 75 cases/ Between ages 86 – 90: 27/ Victims of robbery in 2014: 402/ Rape cases in 2014: 12/Abused male: 337

The hunger that I have is to give a helping hand to the abused community. The need is is great. But It’s is too big to deal with it alone. I will be in contact with a professional that is fighting every day for this cause. She is the one who started an organization called “Victim Support Foundation”. Today a very important organization in Curacao for the abused. These figures are registered, there are many we do not know about.

Working, Helping and speaking about Domestic Violence or Gender based Violence and also other life issues is my passion. I need support of the world community, I have World Pulse!

My time to start is yesterday…!

Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith. ~Robert Brault,

Comments 26

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Stephanie Auxier
Sep 21, 2015
Sep 21, 2015

Annadassa,

Thank you for your bravery in sharing this difficult story with all of us. My heart goes out to you, as I can't imagine the pain of everything you and your family have survived. You show so much strength by not only being able to make it through these experiences, but also by being an advocate for others who experience domestic violence and gender based violence. It is horrifying to learn how many people are affected by violence in your community. Please continue to educate us on your communty and your work.

Warm Regards, Stephanie

annadassa
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015

Stephanie,

Thank you for those kind words that are giving me so much strenght to continuo to fight the good fight! The struggle to put together pieces of the whole story out there was very difficult but, I made it through! Once again Thank you and I WILL keep my whole WP Community informed...!

Annadassa

Sep 21, 2015
Sep 21, 2015
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Myriam Vololonarivo
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015

Dear Annadassa,

Your story invites me to imagine how much women are underestimated, discriminated and abused by different ways! I read article, decrypting this and I thank God you are releaved, then able to realize the dream of your son, daughter and yours. You are an amazing mother, Annadassa, and your story has inspired me to never give up when people faces with difficulties. Thank you for this post.

Myriam  

annadassa
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015

Dear Myriam,

Your words touched my heart! It was'nt easy to share but, I had to let my pen do it's work. Abuse is not like taking a breath, abuse is abuse!

Thank you so much...........!

Grace & Peace

Annadassa

Elvire
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015

Annadassa,

Waouh!!!!

I have witnessed violence situations, but not of this level. I admire your strength. Talking about it is an important step towards healing and restauration and indeed, it is great to read that most of it is behind you.

I totally agree that this should stop. May your testimony be an encouragement to others, I wish you breakthroughs in the battle. And I hope your son grew up to hate violence and with a commitment to not be  an agent of it. With your children, you have the opportunity to build a new generation of men and women who preserve the dignity of others.   Building them in that way will widen the network to their friends, mates, etc: the water in the sea started with just one drop.

Thanks for sharing.

Elvire

annadassa
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015

Elvire,

You have filled me with so much emotions. Your words just pushed me to another level forward. It was and still is difficult to share but I have to share there is no other way. Thank you so much Elvire, for those special and kind words and also on behalf of my children!

Grace & Peace

Annadassa

coolasas
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015

Hello Annadassa,

I am awe inspired by your journey -- your resilience and your desire to bring change to the situation of women in your country in spite of you being at the center of it, you never give up because first you know there is God who does not leave you and always lift you up when you're down and there's us, your World Pulse community that will continue to be with you as long as it takes.

Keep the faith and don't let the light of hope die down because you will be the beacon for the many voiceless women not only in Curacao but also from the other parts of the world and eventually be inspired to be taking over with and after you.

God bless you always!

Coolasas 

annadassa
Sep 24, 2015
Sep 24, 2015

Dear Coolasas,

I only can say thank you! I'm overwheled by your love and support! Once again thank you for those kind words..........

Grace and Peace,

Annadassa

champagne
Sep 23, 2015
Sep 23, 2015

Dear Annadassa,

As a mother I can feel the pain and difficulties you struggled from your failed marriage and what happened to your daughter.Imagine at her young age she experienced those traumatic situation.

But your such a strong,loving and powerful mother to your kids.Your children was so lucky to have a mom who loves them more than anything in this world.

A good model to every woman,especially those who are the victims of violence not only physical but verbal.It's not easy to recall and tell what happened from the past especially it's remind you all the pain you've been through.You really a brave woman.

I hope that organization'help for the victims'will be grow and help other woman in Curacao.And give voices to every woman,know how to fight there rights.

All the best for u Annadassa.

Warm regards,

champagne

annadassa
Sep 24, 2015
Sep 24, 2015

Dear Champagne,

The only thing I wanted was for my children to rise no matter how difficult life was even when light was not in sight! And that's what I want to give to others, HOPE...!

Thank you much,

Annadassa 

FUNMI AKERELE
Sep 24, 2015
Sep 24, 2015

Dearest,

I wasnt only inspired by your post, i became transfixed, thoughtful and angry at the same time. The world sees our voices, but we understand our bravery. it is not enough for them to hear it , it is also important for them to understand as well as find ways to give our voices more leg room. your courage is award winning, your tenacity is warm and inspiring. patraichy with all its rodents has devalue the potentials of so many girls, women and atimes its gender also. domestic violence is a rising all over the world at an alarming rate. it is not unwise to say we are all victims of this inhuman treatment when it happens to our sisters. the fragility of some female voices who have not found their course in life an whose voice is unaudible.

i beleive in turning circumstances around, and may i say that it seems you have found your gospel, a voice to end domestic violence of every kind in your world, space, community and all around you. i salute you as you take on this feat. never be ashamed by the loudness of your lone voice, the more your lungs can take. one thing i am sure to tell you is never stop beleieving how invaluable you are. both your kids and you are in this world, gone through all you have gone through because there is a message from you to someone. your voice is a healer, do not be afraid to share it with other people who are currently going through this situation but are afraid to go out. domestic violence can create and leave an empty void for people only the courageous leave and look past the scars. i can go on and on with words, but all i can say is I love you. i love your courage, and i love the fact that you are prepared for this journey of saving and seeing the YOU come alive. Kudos!

annadassa
Sep 24, 2015
Sep 24, 2015

 Funmi I'm speechless.......

Thank you for your love and your support. There is a burning fire inside of me that became my driving force to share piece of my story. It took me a year Fumni to put something on paper and now I see and feel the impact..............

I must give God all the glory and I thank Him for you and all my other sister struggling or not they are my sisters.

Masha Danki Fumni (Thank you very much),

Annadassa

Believe there is a better river and a very good ocean down every challenges,

-Funmi Akerele

Damilola Fasoranti
Sep 27, 2015
Sep 27, 2015

Dear Annadassa,

(Deep breath)...

My difficulty too now, is where do I start to comment?

My imagination is finding it really hard to capture your huge experience that you've described in few words.

I have not heard or met anyone with the height of abuse that you described here.

In fact, that you are alive till now, I am quick to say there a great purpose on your life. You are really a light and "darkness" always gets angry at the appearance of light.

You are championing a great cause and abuse is a global menace that we all need to take action against anyday, anytime and in every place.

You've started the saving of souls already. You are already speaking up, you have joined a community with many amazing members like you that is actively involved in listening, speaking up and taking action.

Your courage is so strong, your passion is so much trigger. You are turning adversity into empowerement.

...great will be your exploits.

Hearty Cheers,

Fasoranti.

annadassa
Sep 27, 2015
Sep 27, 2015

Dear Fasoranti,

Wow............

I'm surprised at your comment........!

It's sometimes difficult  for myself to understand how I made it through......more difficult to share. Now I have the difficulty to comment on yours but,..............thank you Fasoranti.....thank you for those kind words. 

Grace and Peace,

Annadassa

Sep 27, 2015
Sep 27, 2015
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
AnesaK
Sep 27, 2015
Sep 27, 2015

Dear Annadassa,

First of all, I was so immersed in reading about your country and culture! I knew almost nothing about Curacao, and your explanations truly enlightened me; thank you for that! Second, I am so impressed by your strength and ability to pick yourself up, start over and shine...you are an inspiration. I agree with Funmi's comments about patriarchy and the need of women to bond together and support each other (the way we can break patriarchy's hold). What you are doing is truly important. I think starting small could be a good way to build trust with women in your community and then spreading to other areas with other support/empowerment group chapters. In no time, the government will pay attention and will have no option but to initiate women's empowerment and domestic violence programs. Change always starts grassroots and its effects resonate far and wide. Keep up the great work, the strength, the inspiration! Much love, A

annadassa
Oct 03, 2015
Oct 03, 2015

Dear AnesaK,

You have given me great advise, thank you! I have great love for those few that helped me in the past, but I'm so grateful for the big family I have now! Being part of the World Pulse family was much needed.

Thank you for your love and support A! 

Annadassa

Hannah B
Sep 28, 2015
Sep 28, 2015

Dear Annadassa,

Yes, thank you for sharing about your home, Curacao!  I did not know much about it before reading your post, and I really appreciate your taking time not only to share your personal story, but also to help us understand more about your country.

You have been through a lot of difficult experiences, and I hope you are doing what you can to take care of yourself and reach out for support and love when you need it.  Working to stop domestic and sexual violence is very important work, and also comes with many emotional challenges.  I hope that you will form strong support networks in your community as well as here in the online community to help you stay strong.  I hope that you are able to follow your passion to do this work and help educate others about stopping violence against women!

I wish you all of the best and look forward to reading more of your writing soon!

Hannah

annadassa
Oct 03, 2015
Oct 03, 2015

Dear Hannah,

I was very important for me to let my family know where i come from and I'm glad you like it. Yes it is very emotional but I had to learn the hard way to turn those emotions into strength, and strength to help other one way or the other.

I'm accepting your message with much love,

Thank you,

Annadassa

Rachel Oleson
Oct 02, 2015
Oct 02, 2015

Dear Annadassa,

Thank you for opening up the wounds of your past to share your journey with all of us. That is a very brave step in bringing about change for others who are victims of abuse. You write with such passion, something that is evident in how others have responded to your story. I am so glad that you've found a safe haven here in the World Pulse community. Here you are not alone or voiceless. Here you will inspire so many people with the strength and dignity you've shown throughout the struggles in your life.

The domestic violence statistics you've included are staggering, and as you said, these numbers only represent the registered cases. You are a true survivor - rising up above all of those who tried to crush you and your reputation.

You are the biggest hero in the eyes of your children, and you are a hero to many women and girls who will find their voices after hearing yours. May you continue the fight, but may you also rest easy knowing that your daugter sees the woman she wants to become and your son plays music in the Netherlands inspired by the strong woman who raised him and led him to the path of being able to study what he loves. Let that music warm your heart and your World Pulse sisters and brothers will rally around you and lift you up.

A big hug and loving support from Oregon,

Rachel

annadassa
Oct 03, 2015
Oct 03, 2015

Rachel,

I'm overwhelmed with so much love and support! I did not expect it. I just shared a piece of my story. Your comment and all the others that I did receive filled my eyes with tears, but thank you! The most important thing for me is to help, to listen, to love someone.

Blessings,

Annadassa

Tamara Kubacki
Oct 02, 2015
Oct 02, 2015

Dear Annadassa,

Thank you for sharing your very difficult story and about your Island. I am glad that you have found a place here on World Pulse where you feel safe and supported. You have risen above harrowing experiences to be a true inspiration to your family and to women everywhere. Telling your story will help others have the strength to make changes in their lives and communities, and, most importantly, will help you to heal.  I wish you all good things in the future.

Sincerely,

Tamara

annadassa
Oct 03, 2015
Oct 03, 2015

Dear Tamara,

Thank you so much for your kind words it was much needed. I'm just overwhelmed for all the love and support that I received. I will count on you as part of my World Pulse family and you can count on me!

Grace and Peace,

Annadassa

Adanna
Jan 22, 2016
Jan 22, 2016

Dear Annadassa,

I want to commend your courage. When I read some of the things some women go through in the hands of their "husbands", I shudder.

Thanks for sharing your story. I am sure many women/girls learnt one or two things from reading your story.

Be courageous always!

Kind regards,

Adanna

annadassa
Jan 31, 2016
Jan 31, 2016

Adanna,

Thank you so much for your comments. Great to have you as a friend and supporter!

You have the best 2016 EVER,

Annadassa