OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MONTH
Do you have a friend/family member who has been physically/emotionally abused? Is it still happening? Then speak up for them! Support but DO NOT shame them! Please join our Facebook page Gambian Women Against Violence & Abuse to show solidarity.
PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING:
1. PURPLE IS THE COLOR FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Therefore, during the month of October, please wear this color and take a picture of yourself (shirt, blouse, skirt, hat, scarf, pants etc…).
2. Post the picture on your Facebook wall, with a message regarding domestic violence – it can be one sentence! PLEASE SHARE YOUR POST AS "PUBLIC" SO OTHERS CAN SHARE -- You may reach one person who needs to escape!
3. Forward your message to Gambian Women Against Violence & Abuse
Many define domestic violence as physical abuse of another person but it can happen through emotional and mental abuse too. It can happen through sexual exploitation. These victims are given material gifts as a way of putting a bandage on their wounds -- they are mostly young and naive. Once these victims realize what is happening to them, they become forever scarred. They feel worthless... they feel dirty.... they feel promiscuous. OH NO, THEY ARE NOT!!! The predator who exploited them is dirty, promiscuous, worthless, manipulative, sick, and selfish!
From the day we reach puberty, Gambian women are taught to brace the pains of abuse from men (especially spouses) because that's what will bring Baraka to our children. On the contrary, that is what begins an inter-generational cycle of abuse!! If you let your daughter believe that being hit is what makes her more domesticated and womanly, then she will teach her children the same thing and this becomes a never ending cycle . How do we break this cycle? We must support and educate each other. In most cases, those being abused do not know the extent of their suffering due to insecurities, especially financial instability. Some women would even say "wolahi he takes good care of me, but his temper!!"
Although statistics favor women as the most abused, there are MANY MEN WHO ALSO SUFFER IN SILENCE, because they feel their manliness will be called into question - that they will be labeled as weak, worthless, inadequate. There are women who hit, bite, belittle their men. Those men should also be acknowledged and supported because they are just as vulnerable as our women folk.
PLEASE DO NOT wait for a friend/relative to tell you they are being victimized -- look for the signs (isolation, bruises, low self-esteem, avoidance). PLEASE DO NOT be hostile towards the victim because they have already suffered enough. PLEASE DO NOT use blame words like "you let him hit you?!?!?! What's wrong with you!!?!?" Open the door for the victim to talk to you and hopefully receive your help to escape from being killed or hurt. Please say#NoToDomesticViolence. It is not acceptable!