My experience paving a straight path for the girl child in my community

Pedmia Shatu Tita
Posted September 25, 2019 from Cameroon

My story is about myself, violations and the work I now do to see that other young girls do not fall prey and even if they do they should NEVER be mute.

Pedmia Shatu Tita is my name a journalist from Bamenda NWR of Cameroon. I lost my dad when I was 4 due to the political tension that was in the country in 1992, he was actually burnt in the house. I lived with my mum, siblings and cousins. I had this male cousin who will always come when I am back from school while I am asleep in the afternoon, he will cuddle my thighs with his penis and I will wake up to find a slippery whitish substance (sperms). I saw him more than 3thrice and he insisted I told no one and I kept quite. Sometime later he moved out of the house I was 6years old. In my mind I tried figuring out what it was all about to no avail. My mother had never sat me down to caution me or chat with me on any issues as such. 

Growing up I shared this story with no one in my primary school days till my secondary school days. Some friends laughed, others furiously wanted to face him I didn't know his whereabout. After University, I came out as a journalist, I have worked for 7years now and I have seen the changing times how men go as far as violating 1year old babies, men rape lactating mother's, and so on. I decided to fights by joining the advocacy againg GBV. Aside my effort working with other organizations like Community Initiative for Sustainable development COMINSUD, Medecin du Monde, CIPCRE, I have an initiative where I hold talks by the fire side with girl children, young girls and women where we talk about these issues. I start telling them as early as 4years old, no body touches your vulva, breast, tighs, lips, buttocks, because those parts are private and to be touched just by you. I make them understand that should these parts be touched whether by your daddy, mum, aunty, uncle, friends, report it to me. I will not just take reports and sit i will do referral. I have a 5year old kid and talk to her and her peers everytime about this issue.

As a Journalist I equally do sensitization for mother's to break the barrier in considering certain issues as taboo subjects for if we don't teach our children, the world will do it wrongly for us. 

This is my little story and I hope we all take the obligation to be one another's keeper.

Pedmia Shatu Tita

This story was submitted in response to GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.

Comments 10

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Hello, Pedmia,

Welcome to World Pulse! It is such a joy to know another voice from Cameroon is rising up! I'm sorry you lost your father at such a young age.

I had an experience around 3 or 4 years old about a male neighbor touching my private parts. He told me not to inform anyone about it. The work that you do is important. Young girls need to know that "off-limits" parts of the body. I commend you for using your experience to educate young children to protect themselves. I believe even young boys need to know as well. They get molested, too.

Thank you for sharing. I'm curious. How did you find about World Pulse?

Looking forward to reading more of your stories!

Lisbeth
Sep 26
Sep 26

Dear Pedmia,
We warmly welcome you to this out wonderful platform. I hope you are doing well.
It's sad to hear you went through all these!
I loved your activities very much especially the by the fire side stories. These types of story telling spread information very quickly and I am certain you will meet your target goals through it.
Thanks very much for sharing your story to uplift us.
Regards

Tarke Edith
Sep 26
Sep 26

Hello Pedmia
Thank you for sharing your true story . That is what we really want to hear on this plafum dear.
You will agreed with me that it is because of what you when through that you are able to fight this stema today .
I really wish to meet you sister .l am also in Bamenda you can call me by this no 670255118.
Thanks while longing to see you.

Jill Langhus
Sep 27
Sep 27

Hello Dear Pedmia,

Congrats on sharing your first story, dear:-) I'm so glad you shared your story with us, and that you not only broke your silence about the appalling behavior of your cousin, but that now you are dedicated to empowering girls and women about GBV so that this sort of behavior ends. How often do you hold these talks? Are you planning on starting your own NGO, too? I'm looking forward to hearing more about your journalism, but also your initiative.

Hope you're safe, and having a good Friday, dear.

XX

Pedmia Shatu Tita
Sep 27
Sep 27

Hello Langhus, I decided to hold these talks Fridays because I thought that It was the end of the week and no one will be in a haste about the next-day or so. I equally hold very informal sessions like wherever I find myself, I get into discussing this with kids, girls women and even the male folks because my fiancé was violated by his aunt when he was young and it went unreported. Recently I was a resource person to train broadcast Journalists and bloggers on Communication strategies for social and behavioural change on issues related to GBV and SRH. As communicators we need to understand these concepts and put our communication strategies to get the desire result and we need to guide survivors of GBV to referral centers. The training was Organized by Community Initiative for Sustainable development.
About an organization Yes I am thinking of one.
As a journalist I am focused on health, Human/Digital rights, Peace and conflict reporting. I have backed home with 2awards. 2017 I was the best female crisis reporter as per NDEFCAM media award and this 2019, I received an award for the work I do as a Journalist and the impact it has on the community.

Jill Langhus
Sep 28
Sep 28

Hello Dear,

That's a good idea:-) Oh, wow! Yes, everyone needs to be sensitized and aware. Poor guy:-(

Wow! Very cool. I hope you write about it.

I thought you were probably planning on starting your own:-)

Nice! Great job:-)

Looking forward to seeing more stories from you and learning more about your initiatives, awards, projects, and NGO.

Hope you have a great, rest of the weekend.

XX

Anita Shrestha
Oct 05
Oct 05

Wow good idea beautiful thought

Nabila Abbas
Oct 06
Oct 06

Welcome to world pulse dear :)

Qurratulayn Khan
Oct 10
Oct 10

Hi sister,
Wow...brave work
Girls are fearless from the beginning If they knew these things from their childhood, and this is very good idea to acknowledged our kids about them without any hesitation.
thank you for sharing your story.
respect

Jacqueline Namutaawe

Hello Tita welcome to the sisterhood and thank you for sharing your story. It is encouraging and unstoppable for you to have fireside talks with girls alerting them of their sexual rights. Keep it up since you are a journalist you have a wider platform and reach. Thanks for the advocacy efforts.