There is nothing as devastating as suffering from domestic violence. Be it physical, emotional or psychological, it is very dehumanizing.
Growing up and seeing my parents fight, I vowed never to live through that kind of violence or let my children go through same experience. Unfortunately, I got married to an abusive and violent man. Looking at him physically, he is gentle and can never hurt a fly. On my part, I am known to be a great talker and problem shooter.
This judgments made it very difficult for people to understand my sufferings. Initially, my husband took satisfaction in disrespecting me in front of our kids and visitors. I struggled to maintain a sane mind until he became physical on me. This guy had the problem of ego, where he believed he had to take all the decisions and I didn't have a right to opose. He kept reminding me that he was the man and so he had to command. My opinion never counted and he always took whatever ideas I brought up, discuss with his friends and if they agreed, he would consider it and if they didn't, he would never think of it.
This alone was very challenging. He continued this and got to a point where he started beating me up. One day, we had an issue and got me well beaten with a machete like I had done something horrible to him. I was very hurt. My grandmother was present and she couldn't do anything. I heard him tell her that if she wasn't around, he would have killed me. My grandmother could not support me. I knew then that I was all on my own. I had only my children to live for.
I began making plans to leave the marriage. I went to the State Counsel to report him and I was told my allegations were not strong enough to separate from him. They said I didn't have any major injuries. God!! How I cried?! I cried because my family and now the court could not help me or did not believe in me. I went back home very bitter.
Another day came and he got me beaten again in the presence of my grandmother. This time around, I heard my grandmother say "kill her". What I did not understand was the meaning of what she said. Did she say it out of anger or did she mean it? He used a heavy table chair and lifted it up to hit me, I pretended to have fainted and fell to the ground. I held my breath for some few minutes as my grandmother bent over me. He left and went outside and I remained on the floor to make sure everywhere was quiet. I woke up, ran into my room and packed my things to leave. My daughter, unfortunately saw me on the floor. She came with her siblings to beg me to stay. I had made up my mind to leave. I had told myself I had to be alive to see my children grow. This incident occurred when we were not staying in the same house and region. I had been transferred and he came to visit the kids only to end up beating me.
He finally took the kids for vacation and held them back from coming back to me and completing their education. I was furious as they kids called me and cried that they wanted to come and complete their education. I went to take them and that was the worst and last time of his beatings. He sent away our elder daughter to join me and locked up the last 2 kids.
I was very prepared for him because this time around, I recorded the scene and wanted justice to take its course. My children were shouting and crying for help qhen their father was beating me up but no one could help us. People were just watching and going their different ways. My son ran out of the house to join us and was almost knocked down by a car. My heart stopped at that moment. I watched how he ran after that little boy to catch him. A man who did not know what was happening but who knew him, caught the child and gave him to his father. I saw how my little girl jumped from behind the house to come to me and he also caught and locked them up in the house. It was the worst moment in my life. I took ill immediately, went to the hospital, established a medical certificate, went to the court and reported him.
With all the evidence that was still fresh, my daughter and I were again disappointed by the Cameroonian law court and law. They could not get him to give the kids to me. My grandmother supported him to keep the other kids. I just cut him and my grandmother out of my life forever. He went as far as taking the laws into his hands and has made it such that I can not see or talk with my 2 little babies.
I left the court and vowed to fight physically any man who would ever try to torture a woman or child like my kids and I have been abused.
Today, I have HOVO and through HOVO, I teach children Human Rights in schools through Gender Clubs. I teach children, male or female to learn to love and respect each other irrespective of sex. I also teach women, basic human rights and empower them with life skills because most of them subdue violence because they do not have money to take care of themselves. I encourage them to speak up and walk out of violent and abusive marriages if they want to remain alive. HOVO centre is open to women and girls for their empowerment and well being.