Please remember too that not speaking about men or children who have been abused or assaulted does not suggest that I do not value the healing of men. It’s the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, so I focus on women.
Gender based violence is REAL.
I believe the last time I spoke to you, it was in the month of July…maybe it was June. I can’t quite remember and I have not checked my archives. Anyways, let us not argue over the fact that I’ve neglected you for so long. Get over it as I am now writing another love letter to you.
Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (I call it white ribbon day). I attended a function on campus related to the day and what it stands for, zeen. I must admit that I did not plan to stay for the length and breadth of the function as I anticipated that it would have been about women bashing men saying that men are the problem and we should all hate them. I also anticipated discussions about all that is wrong to be discussed and not how persons could address it or make it right. I had those expectations as that’s the essence of most forums today; gather, talk about problems, mention solutions and then nothing….I was proved wrong on both anticipations. (please pardon my poor English. I know the Queen of England, whose language I am expected to speak and write, would turn her head from me).
As the items on the program progressed, A friend of mine spoke about an unfortunate incident occurred to her in which she was sexually assaulted almost two years ago. It was her first time speaking about it to anyone outside of her counselor and her student services and development manager. I don’t wish to speak into great detail. Main point is that her story moved me to tears. Me, hard as nails, Candice K, crying in public. Imagine that. Ha!
I had to speak. So I approached the microphone during the question and answer session and made a comment. Yes, Even at formal, public events I go against the grain; commenting when I should ask a question and receive answers. So I went up to the microphone and I had to applaud her, my friend. She had started to tell me about the incident in which she was first robbed but we never got the chance to finish the conversation. So it was only tonight that I found out the second part of her story. As I stood there, I had to hold tears back. Legit tears. (My sister would be proud to know that I am tapping into the emotional side of the Stewart in me). What she did tonight in speaking to the audience about her traumatic experience shows strength and bravery. It took her a while to actually start speaking but home girl represented herself well in retelling that ordeal. I had to say something. I would have felt a void inside if I didn’t address it.
After I did that, I gave a snippet of a story I have never shared with you or most of your natives, dear World. March the 4th 2006. My mother and I were followed, robbed and attacked. I had missed school for about a week and half or two. My eye was badly damaged as one man out of the three who did the deed. punched me in the face while another held their weapon against my mother’s temple. I held it all inside for about 2.5 years and decided after the prodding of the same students services and development manager to seek help and go to counseling. I eventually went and I do not regret it. I still have not healed as I have panic attacks just thinking about the incident, but I am that much better.
I say all of this to say that seeking help is nothing to stray from. I helps!! Talking about it to a counselor or a trusted mentor or friend helps. As my friend stated, you should never think that you are less than worthy to be alive or have survived your attack. Do not ever believe that you deserved whatever may have happened to you or someone who you know. The blame game gets you know where in terms of healing. Healing is the most important thing after traumatic events such as the ones that I spoke to you about just now. Healing physically, emotionally and mentally. I have started to heal, you need to heal as well.
If you or anyone you know have experienced similar things, I encourage you to go to someone who will be able to help you; free of judgment. I urge you.
Please remember too that not speaking about men or children who have been abused or assaulted does not suggest that I do not value the healing of men. It’s the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, so I speak primarily on women.
Violence is not limited to physical or sexual abuse. There is emotional abuse as well. And remember too that there are sub categories to the three I just highlighted. Abuse can come from total strangers, abuse can come from acquaintances, family members and even spouses. Women abuse men and children just as men abuse women and children. Like women, men are also abused; children too. The difference is that women are usually more willing to seek help or to even acknowledge the fact that they have been abused. Many children do not even realize that they’ve been abused. and for those who speak, at times, they speak in vain as they a believed to actually lie about the incident(s).
I took all of this paragraph from statements made from the speakers at the event.
This letter really isn’t love to you, World. This letter is love to all your women and the women of Suburbia. Please. Okay…I’ll stop now.
Signed with love,