Going on national television with my rape advocacy was a whole new dimension

Marie Abanga
Posted May 11, 2019 from Cameroon

When you live in a country where there is a crisis, you start hoping things don't generate to the worse. I used to think rape only happens during war and crisis, because that's what happened during the genocides in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. How mistaken I was.

I am an advocate against all forms of violence, and founder of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered. It is in the context of this organisation that I started hearing of, and receiving distress calls of girls and children raped everywhere, not only in the crisis zones.

To say I am distraught is an understatement. I mean even a 3 year old child was not spared. 

I have been a victim of sexual assault as a child, of attempted rape as an adult, and of marital Rape to the point of being hospitalized too. This means, I do my work with a lot of empathy and my tears flow be it in private or public.

I started raising awareness online in January 2019, I did live videos on Facebook and I wrote on my blog and anywhere else I could. I just refused to be silenced by noisemakers and naysayers. The Psychotherapist in me knows how to navigate all thos, and how to take care of myself through it all. But, I just can't slow down.

In 2014, I received an award for the Voice of the Voiceless, because I published my first memoir on a subject hitherto considered taboo.

You can call it what you may, but getting national attention was my goal. Last Friday May 10th, I am proud to say I achieved that. I was a guest on the early morning program called Feelings. Many people watch it all over the nation, and it has taken my advocacy to another dimension.

I am so grateful for the opportunity and look forward to more of such opportunities. Rape is simply put disgusting and we have to put an end to it as a society. We can't remain indifferent because it is not our child or relation. One more rape cases brings insecurity closer to home.

Rape ravages not only the victim but their families who are so filled with rage and shame and pain, really it is sad. I once did a video on the gruelling realities of rape, it is more than just the physical act whose effects could be repaired or treated in the hospital maybe.

I am ready to step up my work, and I am grateful for all the support I get from all angles. One case and campaign at a time, such attrocities like rape will be eradicated in our societies, and the victims shall believe in my slogan #rapedbutnotruined.

This story was submitted in response to Share On Any Topic.

Comments 12

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Jill Langhus
May 12
May 12

Hi Marie,

Thanks for sharing your story, and passionate update. Congrats on getting on the early morning program and for spreading awareness in your country on this heinous crime. And, yes, it does affect everyone involved, and just ignoring it isn't going to make it go away, unfortunately. I'm with you 100%! Good luck and charge on, as I know you will:-)

Marie Abanga
May 18
May 18

Dearest Jill,

Thanks so much as always for being such a prompt encourager of mine. I am not only flattered but honoured and humbled. I don't take nothing for granted and I wouldn't stop at doing all I can to raise awareness and help victims and survivors too. Oh sadly no, the state doesn't seem to feel affected or concerned o, hence my staunch advocacy

Jill Langhus
May 19
May 19

Hello there:-)

You're very welcome! And, thanks for the acknowledgement, too:-) Yes, I know you are on a serious mission there... good thing, too, since it's sorely needed there. Hope you're having a good weekend.

Lisbeth
May 13
May 13

Hi dear,
You hit it again, great work keep it up. I love your dressing code with you afro cap haha.
Thanks for sharing

Marie Abanga
May 18
May 18

Dear Sis,

Yes this has been going on for too long in hush hush. I love that cap too lol. Thanks for the encouragement and appreciation

SIMON MUREU
May 13
May 13

I like this and what you are doing there

Marie Abanga
May 18
May 18

Dear Simon,

Thank you so much, I really appreciate

Wendy Stebbins
May 14
May 14

Oh, Marie, I am so so proud of you. I can hardly speak. I KNOW you have been chosen somehow to be very special in this universe. I am just overcome with who you are, how you have asked - begged really - to help solve the problems. And it is as if the universe or God is shaking his head with a big, BIG shake of the head screaming "Y E S !". Keep on keeping on. You seem to have a good natural sense of what is needed and when and how to go about it as well as the right things to say.

I have a young woman in Yemen who found me through World Pulse. In the middle of their war, she has been beaten regularly by her father, brothers and her mother will not let her leave. Raped too I am sure. The only way she can see to get out (believe this or not) is to have some man come in from another country, marry her and then take her out of the country. She actually in her desperation thinks this is the only answer.(Sounds like she's setting herself up for the sex trade).She is very smart, a dentist by trade, writes poetry and really really needs someone to talk to via email or something. I wonder if you have a way, perhaps email, that I can have her start a conversation with you. For the first time in my life I feel helpless to help someone. But talking to you, I feel can give her hope and perhaps ideas. Please let me know. Its okay if you don't want to do this.

In the meantime, again, congratulations on starting HOPE FOR THE ABUSED AND BATTERED, for being recognized such as on FEELINGS. You are headed for greatness. You say you can't slow down? DON'T slow down. Dance your dance the way you want to and at the speed that is right for you. And most of all thank you for just being your highest self.

Ubuntu,

Wendy

Marie Abanga
May 18
May 18

Oh Wendy,

Please bear with for replying to your awesome comment this late. If I tell you I have had 3 other cases since I put up this post oh my. I don't know where to start writing about your comment. Please yes and sure let her write to me through the contact here or if an email is needed for her then marie@marieabanga.com is fine.
I look up to my God a lot, I also have wonderful mentors and friends. Not many but enough. Now, I also have my world pulse tribe, what beats that?
Thank you so much for your advice, I know greater openings are on their way and I will keep on keeping on, we definitely need more of mes in my country o.
We all are doing our very best too

Hello, Marie,

Thank you for speaking up about rape and for doing it so loudly that you are changing lives. It’s a plus that you are a psychotherapist with full of empathy. You are a healer, an extension of the Healer. Congratulations on being able to share your movement on national television. Thanks for sharing!

Marie Abanga
May 30
May 30

Dear Karen,
Thank you so much. Yes, we each have a role to play to make our society a better place. I am an instrument and there is so much grace involved I am forever grateful and blessed. Stay blessed too

Hello, sister Marie.
It’s my pleasure! I agree. Yes, GRACE, that’s what keeps me moving each day. Amen. :)