She gives me so much hope: I called my association Hope for the Abused and Battered
I remember how best friends we were growing up, That is precisely from age 0 to 7. Hope and I wow, you couldn’t see one without feeling the other nearby. I want to tell you how it all started until I created an association and named it after my best friend Hope.
Hope and I knew each other very early on in life. Growing up wasn’t the easiest of experience for me and I often got on my mother’s nerves. I will receive beatings and I will run away to cry vowing to not got back home. Hope was my invisible friend, she will come and sit with me while I cried, and also play house with me while I baked some sand cakes for my dollies. We hoped around our neighbourhood, ever playing with everyone and trying to keep away from home and trouble as much as possible.
Then I turned 8 years and we moved cities. I so dreaded it that moved, and when I told Hope I was even more afraid she was staying back, she told me I was going to be ok. But how could I be ok without my best friend by me to keep me company especially in a new city where I had no friends? How could I survive in that big house and that neighbourhood where people barely spoke to each other? How could she do this to me?
Then the anger got to me and I started being a good rebel. Life wasn’t fair at all and it really looked like Hope had deserted me for real. I mean barely a few years after that move, mum left. They seemed to have been on the verge of a separation ever since and I had no one to talk about it all with, nor to process my feelings. Hope really seemed so unreachable especially with the coming of step-mum and the hard life we got. It was now left but my brother and I in that house and it was simply put unbearable like we were under house arrest.
Life went on and I ended up getting married, without my best friend in me nor by my side. Near catastrophic including a suicide attempt. Ha, it wasn’t easy.
But then it happened, we met again and here is the best part: She tells me she had been with me all along!!!
Wow wow wow, really? Hope says she kept me going with her whispers of don’t give up. She actually helped source me the right energy I need to escape the abusive marriage I had gotten into, and then the courage to start talking about my ordeal.
I then realized I needed a permanent structure to be able to not only talk about my wonderful friend Hope, but to equally strive to be like her for others who are still struggling with similar issues like I once did.
I created an association and called her “Hope for the Abused and Battered” (H4AB). No other better name could I find. After all Hope did for me, there was no way I was going to leave Hope out of this.
We came up with a powerful vision thus:
An association where those battered by life can find hope. Victims of domestic violence and other life’s challenges, can find some refuge and guidance through the various challenges they face and strive to overcome. H4AB encourages self and mutual love, so that everyone can live in love and serenity with each other and in total gratitude for the gift of life, one filled with hope even after being abused and battered.
While the aim of the association is:
To provide supporting services which promote emotional resilience to people battered by life, regardless of age, sexual orientation, race and political or religious affiliation, in their search for ways to overcome the fears and conflicts and separation that accompanies personal crisis.
We also formulated our objectives and focus area together and these are what we got below:
To provide counseling and psycho-therapeutic assistance to individuals and groups;
To raise awareness and sensitize the population on the damages caused by domestic violence, and all other forms of violence;
To encourage a spirit of peace, love, forgiveness and living in harmony in our communities;
To provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, and the battered in our communities;
To cooperate with associations with similar objectives.
The main focus areas of our association are:
Providing hope for the victims and survivors of domestic violence
Providing hope for persons living with a mental illness or mental challenges
Providing hope for the abused children and youths
providing hope for the battered and tattered by life.
Our long term goals are to:
Have a rehabilitation center where victims with mental issues can get mental health support and also get counselling and psycho-therapeutic assistance.
Have a shelter where victims of violence of any form can find some refuge and guidance through challenges they face and strive to overcome.
How could I have failed to realize it was just part of the grooming to be able to serve humanity in this way? Remember I said Hope was my best though invisible friend. This is what such best but invisible friends do, they are like the spirit which moves and when we go silent, or we ask for them to show up in our lives, they just do.
Dear Hope, I can never be grateful enough although I now recognize I equally have to #BetheHope for plenty others so that one day there will be no more gender-based violence, domestic violence and abusive relationships.