Rape and gruelling realities: It's all about awareness and hope

Marie Abanga
Posted April 9, 2019 from Cameroon

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and we at our Association focus more on rape victims, using their stories and gruelling challenges to raise awareness on the devastating effects of this monstrous atrocity.

Let's go, first things first;

1) t

There is no specific law on Rape alongside a decree of application in Cameroon - this paralyzes the speedy prosecution of rape cases, whenever anyone has the courage to even report them. All we have for rape is a section in the penal code with some lousy sanctions which could even bring more of shame and pain than not; 2) The Stigma is still so strong and this is both from within and from the society; 3) The psychologocal damage is not one that could be easily seen or stitched. Worse than the broken hymen is the mind muggle of unworthiness confirmed by your helplessness at having been abused and so violated to your core, sometimes by one you called Papa or looked up to as guardian/authority of sort; 4) Emotional damage is most glaring when the victim can't have relationships or normal ones anymore, due to highly fluctuating emotions, mood imbalances and very unhealthy attachment patterns. There is thus poor communication of needs, no full understanding of self, not to talk of knowledge of real love; 5) Physical damage. Feeling of unworthiness leads to excessive self criticism. Self loathing could lead to eating disorders and dysmorphophobia (fear of feeling good about your body as is - A mental illness involving obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance.)...we can imagine more and more and more...I mean what do we say about risk of pregnancy or diseases?; 6) Spiritual damage. What do you mean there is a God? Before He let me an innocent child be raped? Or, what do you mean I should tone down on how long I spend in church one God's presence when He saved me from death? ( Some have been raped to death remember Fortune and co); 7) Timeless travails. It could last a lifetime, especially if victim is young and nothing is done for rehabilitation, healing, forgiveness etc

What Can be done?

1) Prevention they say is better than cure - I don't know if rape can be fully prevented given the current grueling statistics in Cameroon; just google and read, I can't find links to some recent reports; 2) Cure - Holistic and prompt cure is what our association is more focused on. There are already many victims out there, someone has to help them and we are trying our own mite - abusers may need help too, but we are not focusing on them unfortunately - locking them up is a more palliative option for us; 3) Stop the stigma; this one is another 'rape' on its own in my opinion. When rape cases are not reported inorder to preserve family honour; when victims themselves don't tell for fear of losing some marriage material left in them; when society knows and treats victims or survivors like some less than and good for nothing pity party queens/kings no matter what they do? 4) Support those who are engaged in 1,2,3 above in anyway you can. Mustn't always be financial support; 5) Show empathy and understand that full rehabilitation and reintegration of some victims could last near a life time, or be a 'merry go round sort of experience' Bonus for Kids from Experience Stop any blame and reassure them with double love while doing whatever else you are doing

We have a center, currently in our founder's home. We can house 2/3 victims at a time. We focus on psychotherapeutic support, medical follow up and equally offer legal assistance as needed. Our founder is a lawyer and psychotherapist so these services are readily available. We appreciate all donations and support of all nature.

At H4AB, we want to #BetheHope , do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need help in the midst of any hopeless situation.

Visit us at www.hope4abusedbattered.com Donate to our Gofundme Campaign to open a center :https://www.gofundme.com/MarieAH4AB

Comments 13

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Jill Langhus
Apr 09
Apr 09

Hi Marie,

Thanks for sharing your update and informative post. I'm so proud of you and the work that you're doing, dear. It sounds like it's so needed there. I wonder how the laws can be updated to include rape, but I so here you, and agree with you, on prevention, cure, and stopping the stigma. Good luck with your fundraiser, and please keep doing what you're doing. I believe that you will find, or get, more supporters as time goes on, to really grown your organization, spread more awareness about the issue, and also help to heal and empower the women in your area, and eventually beyond it!

Hope you have a good week, dear.

Marie Abanga
Apr 11
Apr 11

Dear Jill,
Thank you so much for your comments. I am really inspired and motivated. I am doing what I am called to do by my spirit, and will keep pushing. It is a long long shot and I can only do it one case at a time, but above all the victims restoration and healing is what speaks to my soul the most. The solidarity and support is so warm too especially in my Facebook and real community. Thank you once more

Jill Langhus
Apr 12
Apr 12

Hello dear,

You're very welcome:-) Yes, I know you will. I don't think it's a long shot, and I agree with Tam that you're doing some of the most important and necessary work on the planet. You can count on me, dear. I believe in you, and your work, so much!

Hope you have a good day, and weekend.

odamabarack
Apr 11
Apr 11

Bonjour Marie.Suis tellement Ravis de votre Histoir
ce super votre histoire dada.si vrement on pourras avoir une loi pour mettre fin a tout ceci ça pourra aidé toutes les femmes st filles.
ça fait vrement très mal au cœur lors ce qu'on lit de tel histoire et nos dirigeant et corrompus.
prions beaucoup le Tré Haut qu'il puisse nous proteger contre ce malfeteur.

Marie Abanga
Apr 11
Apr 11

Merci beaucoup ma seour,

On bon jour on y arrivera. C'est les efforts consistent et surtout le soutient a ces filles qui le fera possible.
En toute solidarite
Marie

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 11
Apr 11

Hi Marie,
The work you are doing to support, love and empower women and girls who have been victimized by rape is among the most important work needed on this planet. You have laid it all out so well. Details we need to keep in mind. It is so good to know that you have found a way to provide a safe house. Giant step forward. May you flourish. It is time for governments to take responsibility and provide funding.
In the meantime your message and your work is beautiful and powerful "Stop any blame and reassure them with double love".
With love in sisterhood,
Tam

Marie Abanga
Apr 11
Apr 11

Dear Tam,

Thank you for your comment. I am doing my part, I was once a victim of several different abuses including rape. I feel it with so much empathy, and do to these girls and sisters what I want done to me. The government will step up in due time because I am rallying other civil society and we will put pressure and shout it from the roof tops. One case at a time, one support at a time, I am getting there. I am honoured and humbled.

Seka
Apr 15
Apr 15

Hi Marie,
You are doing a very good thing. Such people deserve special attention. Recently I went to a school where I was shown a girl who was booed by her classmates for rape. I liked the principal of the school because she severely punished these students and the teacher because the latter had not reacted to this scandal. It is unfortunate that the cases of rape are only increasing with impunity. Let's continue the fight!
In sisterhood

Marie Abanga
Apr 15
Apr 15

Dear sis o,

Can you imagine being raped and booed for that? Isn't that a sign of a sick society?
We will continue the fight for sure
Love and prayers all the way through

Tmboli
Apr 18
Apr 18

Hi Marie
I really appreciate your effort to eradicate rape and to stop girl child abuse.. Rape brings alot of insecurity for the girl child.Because you are a girl child, people think you can be tortured by rape. I stand with you .

Marie Abanga
Apr 19
Apr 19

Dear Sis o,

Thank you. I not only raise awareness, but my priority is the victim. I tell them my mantra is #rapedbutnotruined. Many have been able transcend their scars and move from victim to survivor Ameb

Tmboli
Apr 20
Apr 20

You really have a great initiative...i support you 100%

Marie Abanga
Apr 20
Apr 20

Thank you sis

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