She gives me so much hope: I called my association Hope for the Abused and Battered

Marie Abanga
Posted November 26, 2018 from Cameroon

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.

 

This story was submitted in response to What Gives You Hope?.

Comments 11

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Tamarack Verrall
Nov 26, 2018
Nov 26, 2018

Dear Marie,

I love your story of Hope being your best friend no matter whether you were vividly aware of her presence, or during times that you felt all on your own. I love how Hope became real to you again through your listening to your own whispers. And then to create a whole Centre with a beautifully worded vision that many can get inspiration from, just by reading, or also to even set up other Centres. I am so glad that Hope now rides so closely along with you. I am sure that Hope floods your Centre with such positive energy, that energy which is you, with the Hope you have always had in you.

With love in sisterhood,
Tam

Marie Abanga
Nov 27, 2018
Nov 27, 2018

Dear Tam,

Thank you so much for your comment. Yes Hope ha what could I have done for real without her? There is no way I can keep her to myself after having discovered what an awesome and amazing friend she is even it seems you ain't feeling her. Yes my Hope is for Hope to do just that, inspire many and flood my centers with all that and much more.

In forever sisterhood
Marie

Jill Langhus
Nov 27, 2018
Nov 27, 2018

Hi Marie,

Wow! I love this story, your organization and its mission! What an appropriate name for it, too. I'm so sorry you had such a turbulent upbringing. I'm sure you didn't deserve to be beaten:-( Poor you:-( I'm glad you are the hope for so many women, and I also sincerely "hope" that you are able to create your rehabilitation center and shelter soon, as I'm sure it's needed and would be highly valued, too. Looking forward to seeing updates about this vision, dear.

Have a great day! Good luck with your story submission!

Marie Abanga
Nov 27, 2018
Nov 27, 2018

Dear Jill,
Thanks always for your comments and encouragement. How do you get to do this and read all our posts and have such thoughtful comments is beyond me.

Well, I have made peace with my past. So grateful to have had Hope with me both from near and far.

The association already has a facebook page and its documents have been submitted for registration. I am hopeful, I equally look forward to the shelter and center for they are very much needed here where barely any exists.

In forever sisterhood and appreciation
Marie

Jill Langhus
Nov 27, 2018
Nov 27, 2018

Hi dear Marie:-)

You're very welcome. Ha. I secretly have a clone:-)

For real. You're discipline and positivity is second to none, though. Seriously.

Very nice, dear! Awesome. Really looking forward to seeing them come into fruition.

XOXO

Marie Abanga
Nov 28, 2018
Nov 28, 2018

Dear Jill,

I really appreciate your kind words. Your clone should be doing a great job then.
Yes I have a lot of hope for the association too.
All the best with your endeavours

Jill Langhus
Nov 28, 2018
Nov 28, 2018

Hello Miss M:-)

Ha.. thank you, dear:-) Your's, too!

Nnenna Hannah okoh-Metu
Mar 24, 2019
Mar 24, 2019

I love the zeal in you, keep thriving...

Marie Abanga
Mar 24, 2019
Mar 24, 2019

Thank you dear Sis, you too keep being the best you can

Urmila Chanam
Apr 14, 2019
Apr 14, 2019

Dear Marie,
I am impressed by the clarity of purpose you have to care for the battered and abused women and establishing care and healing centers because women really need a non-judgemental and supportive facilities to find their voice, make life changing decisions, look for opportunities and secure their rights. When I was undergoing abuse in my marriage more than a decade back, the thing I needed most was advice and someone to listen to me without blaming me for my situation. I was very young, simple and trusting. I also lacked the confidence to walk to get legal help because police and lawyers made me more fearful of them than my known abuser. So much counselling and hand-holding is needed for young women in abusive marriages and relationships. We have to remember the abusers are loved ones, family or the love of their life- so the women cannot be led in a manner they are advised on other cases. There are bound to be several accounts of relapse and confusion and that is okay too. The major indicator is she should have information, support, resources in emergency, child care, health care and given confidence.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam,
India,
[email protected]

Marie Abanga
Apr 15, 2019
Apr 15, 2019

Dear Urmila,

Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, I am very happy doing what I do because I feel fulfilled doing that. It is the best way I am fulfilling my purpose and I just feel like I am helping myself each time. I remember how I was once so abused and Battered and how I was looking for hope so badly I thought I would never find her, and was even better of dying.
Since I wrote this post, I have received a few women in my home which is the temporal center premises until a more permanent or bigger place is gotten. One category of girls and women I receive and try to therapeutically help the most is victims of sexual abuse and rape. The attrocities in our society now can leave one speechless.
You are doing a great job too in your endeavours
Love and prayers all the way round