Child Sexual Abuse: Today Georgi, who next???


Sexual abuse of our children and young girls in Cameroon is becoming a call for concern.

It was barely a month ago that we learned of the case of 10 years old Marie Fortune who had been viciously and consistently raped by her aunt’s husband, leading to her death barely 10 days after being admitted in the hospital.

Child abuse so glaring to a faultLast Friday 15th, we saw a picture on Facebook of a heavily pregnant 11 years old, and before we could reach out to the source to investigate and do some further advocacy, we received the following distress whatsapp chat from another victim [15/03, 12:25] Georgi: Bonjour Madame

[15/03, 12:26] Georgi: J’aimerais que vous prenez le temps de lire ce document

[15/03, 12:26] Georgi: J’ai besoin d’aide et je pense que vous pouvez m’aider à avancer dans ma vie

[15/03, 12:27] Georgi: Mais je vous supplie de le lire jusqu’à la fin

[15/03, 12:27] Georgi: C’est long je sais. Mais j’ai essayer d’être brève du mieux que je pouvais

[15/03, 12:28] Georgi: J’ai eu votre contact via un site internet après une longue recherche sur le net

[15/03, 12:28] Georgi: SVP ne me rejeter pas

[15/03, 12:54] .Marie A. Abanga: Salut Georgina, je vais la lire et revenir vers vous ok? Non je ne vous rejete pas.

She reached out in French and anyone who doesn’t understand French can kindly google translate same. She was pleading with me to read the 4 page story she sent me, and not to reject her. She concluded by saying she desperately needed all the help she could get because she wasn’t working/earning any income. I actually received her at my home(which serves as the temporal offices and center of the association Hope for the Abused and the Battered) that same evening at 5 pm, and we had a soulful hour and a half together.

We need to help Georgi find safer accommodation because where she moved to is still just as taxing although no more sexual abuse. The stigma, insults and control is taking a toll on the now 23 years old Goergi.

We also wish to help her to do a thorough medical check up because she still has pelvic pains and can’t afford to go to the hospital. Our Founder (that is myself – a certified CBT Therapist and Psychologist), is offering free psycho-therapeutic sessions to Georgi for as long as she needs these.

No donation is insignificant.  By Grace, the H4AB mental health care support center and safe halfway haven for victims like Georgi will be opened. Visit our website to know more about us, and to contact us directly to join or support our work. God bless us all. Thank you in advance as you donate and or share our campaign Georgi’s story in full and in French: could be read on our facebook page right here.

Follow this link to donate please: https://www.gofundme.com/MarieAH4AB

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Commemorating not just a day, but an entire week in honour of my womanhood


I chose the word commemorate instead of celebrate for different reasons.

I want to talk about how I made the International Women’s day 2019 memorable for myself and others. To begin with, the theme for this year was significant from two perspectives. #BalanceforBetter makes me think of two types of balances. The balance we women have or should strive to have with ourselves and with other sisters, and the balance of between the genders. All these balance for me are for the better.

I started going on air as early as the 4th of March as a guest on the Catholic radio and TV broadcasting media house called Veritas – the truth will set you free. You see, I am already a household name in my country especially in my community – and I am often invited to talk about pertinent societal issues like abuse and  of all forms, mostly drawing from my personal experiences. The candour with which I share make them invite me 3 times a year at least. I love going there too. I commemoration of my womanhood and my journey so far, I had a very authentic and even vulnerable 1 hour with the host.

The next day 5th of March I was on another platform called LTM TV where I was talking specifically about the sexual abuse of girls and women – the focus was on the vicious and consistent rape of 10 years old Fortune who had died on the 25th of February from complications. My advocacy was that if we didn’t put an end to such sexual abuse especially of young girl and babies even, where was society going to have the kind of women it needed? I mean strong, resilient, hardworking and even God fearing women.

The very next day at 10 am I accompanied my mum and a panel of ladies to a daily show called in the House. The topic was the Challenges of female entrepreneurship and leadership. That too was so beautiful. The advocacy here was that we women had to stand up and push on. We had to keep hustling for our own financial independence, while asking assertively for a seat on the table – or better still draw up our own table like Meghan Markel Duchess of Sussex once advocated in a speech at the UN Women.

Thursday the 7th of March I went on air twice. At midday I did a Facebook live video to celebrate a very enterprising World Pulse sister here by name Agnes Kuoh. She has a foundation called Agui Foundation which trains women to be self reliant by doing a lot of stuffs they needed at home, and why could also be sold to gain some financial independence. She and I have met and bonded and I really appreciate her. I had already been on TV the prior week talking once more about female entrepreneurship using her example. AT 6 pm the evening, mum and I along with 3 other dynamic young ladies once more made up a panel to discuss a re-strategy of the IWD concept especially in our country which had infamously become renowned for excesses in drinking and debauchery of some women on the 8th of March. My mum seized the opportunity to announce the launch of her coaching and mentoring program.

Thursday 8th of March D Day proper, over 15 ladies were convened at my mum’s Diversity Management and Consulting Ltd firm for the launch of the ” Coach a girl to thrive program’. We had over an hour of training from her and fruitful discussions by all present. We ended the day with a little office cocktail, while I sat down soon thereafter to do a live video calling on women celebrate themselves and one another not only on that day but always. We women had to learn to be a sister’s sister and be there for one another like Michelle Obama famously encouraged.

Celebration is not the appropriate word for me when we think of what is going on in my country in the two English speaking regions of my country. A civil unrest poorly managed has left hundreds dead, some hundreds exiled, and many more hundreds internally displaced. To commemorate is defined as to serve as a memorial or reminder of; to honor the memory of by some observance of a day set aside by the international community for women to do the most they can to say “Look at us, we deserve to be noticed too, and we are here to stay, stop abusing us and relegating us to the back seat”.

The other days of that symbolic week were spent doing live videos on other aspects of our womanhood in my capacity as a survivor of Domestic Abuse, as founder of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, as a psychotherapist and above all as a Christian. I equally participated to the best I could to activities organized by my church for the women – these took place on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th March. I can only be honest to say I have never commemorated any IWD as passionately, purposefully and holistically as I did this one. I am most grateful to the universe for the energy and opportunities.

The only way I can celebrate my womanhood is to renew my pledge for a better girlhood and womanhood


 

Some things happen in your society which affect you to the core even if you are not ‘related’ to the victims or parties concerned. An incident like that which happened last month in my country Cameroon, I mean in my city of Douala even, concerned a vicious rape and consistent defilement of a girl child for two years. The 10 year old girl finally gave up the ghost in hospital after two years of rape by her aunt’s husband, after developing waist trauma and cancer.

Yes, she is a girl, and not even my daughter some may say. But nope, she would have been a woman tomorrow, and she could have been my daughter. Our collective society is traumatized by such a despicable act, and this got me really thinking. I asked myself this: “Are you going to join other women to celebrate the international women’s day on the 8th of March this year under the theme #BalanceforBetter, when little girls women of tomorrow cannot even feel safe in their own homes? Where can any balance for better be seen here? I mean how many more rapes do we need to record in our communities before realizing how unbalancing it has all become? I was and I am still recovering from the shock of that act. I decided to make the following pledge to that baby girl:

Fortune I pledge

1) That I personally intend to seek an audience with Social Affairs and Justice Ministers, and work in collaboration with any other associations picking this case up;

2) That even if no one is joining me, I will do my best before leaving the rest to God;

3) That I wouldn’t worry about the resources to do what has to be done because I know God knows it all;

4) That I refuse to feel any stigma or entertain any stigma or naysayers on my way to seek Social Justice for your spirit, and all the others like you going through such unfathomable ordeals regardless of their age;

5) That in God I trust so that He will finish what He has started in and through me;

6) That the association Hope for the Abused and Battered which I founded last year, whose 3rd focus area is being the hope for children victims of abuse (especially sexual abuse), will champion your cause and those of the many others like you with all its energy;

7) That I make this pledge in all Faith, Hope and Charity. May God be my Helper for all times Amen

It was only then I felt like I am really living up to my womanhood, and that I could celebrate the freedom and opportunity I had to be such a fierce advocate for the abused and battered women not only in my community but in my country and the world at large. I think of countries where young girls and women don’t even dare to dream, they know that all what they can aspire to is become housewives the earlier the safer. I think of a documentary I once watched entitled; “India the worst place to be a woman”, and how grateful I was not to have been born there. I wonder which balance can be spoken of there and when it could ever get better.

There are several ways to celebrate our womanhood especially on the day the international community sets aside for that – 8th of March; let’s make it a celebration of impact and not just one of colourful fabric wearing and merry making as has been the tradition in my country for a long while now.

I am not saying merry making and fabric wearing are not good, I got my own fabric already stitched courtesy of my mum this very day. However, she knows I don’t do merry making on that day, I prefer participating in symposiums and media events to talk about female entrepreneurship, leadership and all other many issues hindering any real #BalanceforBetter; there is hope nevertheless, and I want to be the hope because I saw hope myself.

All about Hope

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When a 10 year old is consistently and viciously raped for two years before she dies…


At H4AB, It’s all about Hope: Hope for Children Victims of Rape: The case of Fortune RIP

Hope for Children victims of sexual abuse because this is the worst form of childhood abuse we can ever imagine (26.02.19)

Fortune: Just 10 years old but her life was hanging on the drip. Viciously raped over and over by her aunt’s husband. She rested in the Lord yesterday 25.02.19 at around 2 pm. May she rest in but may her rapist know no peace.

Family matter it may be said, but the law is clear. This innocent child had been raped for 2 years consistently and viciously by one who was supposed to be her guardian.

Some legal colleagues and my humble self had been brainstorming how to take up the case pro bono. We had tried to make contact with her family and finally got to visit them in the hospital last week.

It was but normal that the first visit just be a familiarisation one, while we bring up the need to prosecute in our next visit. A visit which sadly wouldn’t take place.

Please all, let’s just say no once and for all to any suppression of information; and victimisation of victims all over again.

We parents and guardians can’t afford to continue pretending it’s ‘family matter’ and not good to expose perpetrators.

Imagine how much physical and psychological damage such attitudes cost the victims all the way into adulthood. Adverse childhood experiences is for real, and Fortune’s spirit is silently crying for Justice from the grave. The law on Rape in my country also leaves a lot to be desired.

Kindly help us draw public outrage and intervention by the Ministers of Justice and Social Affairs by signing and sharing our petition. We really appreciate: http://chng.it/Gn4F7bNH

How To Make Ends Meet During Recovery by Eva Benoit


how to make ends meet during recovery

Pre script: Am so grateful to receive another guest post from Eva  especially on a topic so close to heart and home. I have seen many addicted and so much pain, I know how challenging it is to make ends meet during recovery. Thank you so much Eva

Monster.com career expert Vicki Salemi states that the job search is “one big emotional roller coaster,” with all the ups and downs. And, let’s face it, fear. The only thing is you can’t hold up your hands as you go down that first big hill. If you’re a recovering addict who has begun your journey, you’re definitely experiencing the same thing. Taken together, the two experiences can be both frightening and elating, filled with both uncertainty and victory.

Regardless of the reason, you are starting your job search after also starting recovery. It’s your first time back in the job market, and your addiction might have caused you to lose a job. You will definitely need to bring in some money in order to keep your bills paid, a roof over your head, and your utilities on. So until you get a job offer, you’ll need a temporary side gig. The question is, though, what can you do?

The late Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, said “Everyone has skills,” and you can think of them as belonging to three categories: verbs (sewing, negotiating, planning, and more), nouns (data, graphics, software, animals, and others), and adjectives (adaptable, creative, flexible, and so on). The key is to identify which of your skills go into which category. This not only helps you determine a side gig, but it also can help you determine which type of full-time job to pursue.

But until you get hired, consider these two broad possibilities for making ends meet.

1. Offer Yourself in a Service Role

In a service role, you essentially perform the tasks some folks don’t have the time for or are incapable of doing. For some senior citizens or disabled people, you can become an errand runner or a shopper. There are even some people who will pay you to wait in a line for them for new technology gadgets, concert tickets, and more. You can also hire yourself out as a pet sitter or dog walker. The best part about those kinds of opportunities is that you can set your own schedule, including nights and weekends.

When you offer yourself in a service role, you become an extra pair of legs for someone who is unable to tend to some essential life tasks. Plus, one additional benefit is that you might be able to increase your job-hunting network by telling your clients that you’re looking for full-time work.

2. Make Money With a Hobby or Skill

Can you make jewelry or seasonal wreaths? Can you paint or take photographs? Can you knit or do flower arranging? If so, you can turn your hobby into something profitable by selling your items on at Etsy shop or to family and friends. The best part about this side-gig is that you actually get to make your hobby profitable. And, of course, having a hobby is beneficial when you’re in recovery. If you play a musical instrument or even sing, consider offering music lessons. And once you get a full-time position, you can keep teaching your students for as long as you like.

A job search can be one of the most stressful events in someone’s life, and it can be especially difficult for those who are newly sober. So since you are in recovery, you must keep in mind that any additional stress you feel from your job search might trigger a relapse. Having a side gig might help you avoid stress, prevent a relapse, and keep you on your path.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

About Eva

About 6 years ago, Eva Benoit left her job as an office manager to pursue being a life, career, and overall wellness coach. She specializes in helping professionals with stress and anxiety, but welcomes working with people from all walks of life. She works with her clients to discover and explore avenues that will bring them balance, peace, and improved overall well-being that can last a lifetime. Her website is evabenoit.com and she is author of the upcoming book, The 30-Day Plan for Ending Bad Habits and Improving Overall Health.

You can read Eva’s last guest article on Executive Addiction here

Have a great weekend everyone and know you are not alone in any struggles

Please Donate for my association Hope 4 the Abused $ Battered


 

 

Hello World, I turn 40 years in 16 days (18. 01. 79) and my wish is to open a mental health care support center and shelter for victims and survivors of Domestic Violence and Gender based violence in my city.

Please, just click here and donate whatever you have. Donate to/for me while I am still alive. My association Hope for the Abused and Battered is a precious baby who was born pursuant to a 39 year tough pregnancy with various traumatic twists and turn leaving me with different physical and mental health challenges. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2008 and PTSD in 2014. In 2013 I was almost all deaf and had to start wearing hearing aids immediately. In the midst of it all, Hope kept me going.

Thank you very much for your generous donations

Book Release! Are you Husband Material: Reversing the Conventional Probing


AHM K

Are you Husband Material? Reversing the Conventional probing was inspired by the awkward though conventional question some gentleman asked me in December 2016. He asked me if I was wife material because I was hesitating responding to his offer to marry me. It didn’t make sense to me that I should at my age and circumstance, still get asked such a question. I mean, if at 37 with three kids you could be asked even if you didn’t seem ‘desperate’ to be a wife, imagine how much younger ladies should be dealing with in their strive to be wives. In our conventional societies where it seems getting married is the highest of achievements especially for women, preparing yourself to be wife material is actually right next to being taught how to be a girl. Conventional society expects girls to play with dolls, learn to cook pretty quick, do as their mums do so that daddy or their brothers are not embarrassed, not to talk of a potential suitor. But what of the boys and men? Are they groomed to be husbands too? Do they ever get the flip question too? I had never heard of any until I decided to embark on this other literary project. It is with all candour, my best book so far. I mean, as a mother of all boys, what a pleasure for me to provide such a book which helps them groom themselves and check their intentions ‘well well’ if marriage is their choice. Indeed, I think men even have a bigger role to play in conventional society because they are the heads right? The current statistics on failed/failing/or non contracted marriages also warrants some real soul searching. I decided to take the path less traveled and focus on men, giving the plethora of literature available on women and their preparation/expectations/obligations and all in between in a marriage. I have no doubt this book will make a good read and generate lots of brainstorming.

Available in Cameroon at: https://www.arreybuy.com/product/are-you-husband-material-by-marie-abanga/

Available on the Amazon in Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L9ZNBVC

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1791582877

Kindly visit my author page for more on all my books: https://www.amazon.com/Marie-A.-Abanga/e/B00ILM7IJK

ISBN: 9781791582876
Imprint: Independently published

She told me she had AIDS and I told her that was ok: In memory of Violet gone too soon


HIV

I met Violet in September 2009 and in December 2009 she was dead. I had sent word to the village looking for a nanny and when Violet said she was available, I arranged for her to come very fast. Little did I know what I was signing up for. But here is the deal, I had already made a covenant with God that if he spared me of AIDS especially after the turbulent ‘sexually’ irresponsible life I had led so far and was again pregnant, I was never going to ‘reject’ any person on my path because of their status. That was in 2003 in the city of Yaounde inside a church after I had just given my blood to be tested for HIV at the CHU hospital. How could I therefore send Violet back a few hours after her arrival and following her revelation? I feel out with my husband and mother but I wasn’t going to fall out with God. My baby was 3 months old and I knew Violet wasn’t going to deliberately or accidentally harm my baby. We loved each other till the end. Her last words to me 3 days before dying however still tear me up on days like these: “mummy why have you abandoned me?”

She had returned to the village to spend that ‘last’ Christmas with her own daughter, leaving the hospital here on her signature because she felt her end was near after all.

The Following is a conversation I had this (this post was written (01.12.18) morning with my neice who lived with us back then: [01/12, 07:36] .Marie A. Abanga: Morning mama Ndolo [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: You remember Violet who lived with us for like 3 months to take care of Gaby? [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: If yes, did you know she had AIDS? [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: If yes, how did that make you feel especially as you guys slept in the same room? [01/12, 07:38] .Marie A. Abanga: Please I will like to share your answers in a live video am doing at 8 am to talk about her. Today is world AIDS Day. Thank you baby [01/12, 08:13] Malaika Moki Linonge: Hello mama [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: Sorry I am in the mkt [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: But it was a good experience [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: I was afraid that we could be contaminated, especially for the bb [01/12, 08:15] Malaika Moki Linonge: And also as I stayed with her at the hospital [01/12, 08:20] Malaika Moki Linonge: It was wonderful when we knew she had AIDS, we where surprised why u took her in and understood why u excepted her for some work at home [01/12, 08:20] .Marie A. Abanga: Thank you baby so much [01/12, 08:20] Malaika Moki Linonge: U are welcome mama

Anyone wanting to watch the live video I did could click the link below

https://web.facebook.com/marieangeleAbanga/videos/1253824834759318/

#thankyouviolet #notostigma #knowyourstatus #liveyourtruth #safesex #Showsomeempathy

Although World Aids Day is come and gone, we are still in the month of December. I shared this on my Facebook on the day itself, along with a live video. I just thought to share this here again, to inspire+motivate us all.

Wow news as am featured on World Pulse


Oh yes world,

Somebody is doing what she love: writing: and she’s getting featured on the one and only World Pulse now.

https://www.worldpulse.com/en/voices-rising/stories/cameroon-spite-fractured-girlhood-we-made-it

It is a wonderful feeling and it’s been a 5 years journey to World Pulse to begin with. I mean, what was I even waiting for to start blogging there?

Don’t give up on whatever you are at, there is time for sowing and time for harvesting. Above wowing at the honorarium I wasn’t expecting, I am wowing at the opportunities this affords me…

With so much gratitude I wish everyone all the best

It is called: Hope for the Abused and Battered Association


my gift from god1059994039..jpg

So world, last week I said there was something in the pipeline. It was going to be all about Hope. This girl who navigated by grace from Hopeless to Hopeful is now ready after 3 years of grooming, to contribute her might in giving hope to others still in that hopeless hold of despair…

Before I write further, if you are on Facebook, please show some love by liking our Facebook page. 

When I was about to start this year, my spirit told me it’s going to be my year of Grace. Barely a month into the new year, my spirit said set yourself aside for 70 days and do a spiritual journey fasting from 7 things. Ha, I mean even my mum said I was going nuts.

Not only were some pissed I was seemingly leaving the legal practice to get into psychotherapy, but they weren’t even seeing any clear road map.

Now, earlier this month same spirit said start doing live video campaigns to advocate for the battered, and then a few days ago – bingo; you are creating an association and you will call it… I wrote down the constitution and everything in like 3 hours – it was near magical – I got the numbers to call, found the support from an awesome sisterhood network I belong to online, volunteers reached out and long story short we are on our way to legalization and more…

Would you say I walk with stubborn but passionate faith or not yet convinced?

At Hope for the Abused and Battered, we have the following objectives:

The association Hope for the Battered (H4B) has the following objectives:
• To provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, and the battered in our communities;
• To provide counseling and psychotherapeutic assistance to individuals and groups;
• To raise awareness and sensitize the population on the damages caused by domestic violence, and all other forms of violence;
• To encourage a spirit of peace, love, forgiveness and living in harmony in our communities;
• To cooperate with associations with similar objectives

Here are our four focus areas:

1) Hope for victims and survivors of Domestic Violence;
2) Hope for persons living with a mental illness or mental challenges;
3) Hope for abused children and youths; My own son’s case is going to maybe be the first we handle as an association lol
4) Hope for the Battered and Tattered by life.

Anyone wanting to join us and make a difference should kindly contact me. It must not be financial assistance, we still need to build a website and get the word out sort of. We need to get legalized then start looking out for partners and sponsors… I know this will be huge, I pray for the Grace above all

Have a great week everyone, thank you so much for all your support, reading, liking, commenting, I really appreciate and am often moved to tears