Written with fierce love, Nakinti Besumbu Nofuru's letter challenges men in her community to interrupt cycles of violence within families and society.
“The way you feel about violence in the world is the same way your wife feels about violence against her. Her heart is hurting and hurting and hurting.”
Nakinti | Cameroon
I am writing to you with pain in my heart because your wives have suffered at your hands. On a daily basis, I watch women being battered in public by you. I see women in wheelchairs because of you. I see women who have lost their sight because of you. I see market women who have stopped doing business because you stopped them. I see women who sleep lifeless in the streets and hospitals because of you. And just yesterday, I met an old friend’s mother who now moves with a bent back, her left arm suspended breast level because her husband beats her every day—because you beat her.
Oh, dear Husbands! You say women’s rights have made the women in our community go from submissive Bamenda women to arrogant and recalcitrant copy cats of Western culture. Seriously, husband. No, sweethearts, you are missing the point.
My dear Husbands, I am here to make things clear to you and to beg you to join me so that we can together fight gender-based violence. I know patriarchy and socialization made you believe that your wife, that all women, are second-class citizens. But no, it’s not like that! Your wife is your friend, your partner, your sister, your confidante, your everything. Care for her the way you would care for your sister. Make dialogue the number one thing in your relationship. Call her attention to things that make you unhappy—in a friendly manner. Listen to her and encourage her when she feels down. Love and trust her at all times.
Dear Husbands, if you do these things and more, you are indirectly erasing violence in your relationship. And remember, a violence-free home can guarantee a violence-free society. I am saying that if all husbands plant love and non-violence in their homes, children will grow up with the same attitude and society will be void of violence. Do you know that violence in society is built on violence within families? Yes, I am serious! I know that you are not happy with violence in your communities. The way you feel about violence in the world is the same way your wife feels about violence against her. Her heart is hurting and hurting and hurting.
Dear Husbands of Bamenda, I know not all of you are perpetrating violence against women. Still, I call on you all to join me in this fight against violence against women.
Dear Husbands, as I look forward to a positive reply to this letter, I am sending you a big hug, a big smile, a big friendly kiss on the cheek, and above all, big love.
Nakinti Besumbu Nofuru
A woman in Bamenda
About This Story
This letter is among the many Voices Against Gender-Based Violencesubmissions World Pulse crowdsourced during the global 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. Read more letters and stories from this initiative »