Ahead of the Women's March this 19th and 20th, I wish to add my voice in my own peculiar way by sharing from personal experience once more to urge for more inclusive and realistic discussions around violence especially against women and girls.
"How does an abuser look like? I was told the way he looked, if anything went on in our marriage it could only be me. He looked gentle, he even spoke gentle, I mean he walked gentle. But, that was who they saw and heard. I know who I saw before he left to face the world, I know who I saw when he came back home at night after what the world had seen was over. He beat me, not once but thrice. He abused me verbally, emotionally even sexually. Who says it can't happen because a man looks, and speaks and even walks gentle? I may be a survivor today, but I know I am a Voice of the Voiceless. The hope of the hopeless. We have to stop victimizing victims by putting the onus on them to justify the abuse they suffered. We have to stop making assumptions and preposterous declarations without knowing all the facts. I am far past all that now, but I want to #BetheHope" Marie Abanga founder Hope for the Abused and Battered