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Women Empowerment assignment for Applicants group

To me, empowerment is simply helping oneself or another person to realise the power that lies within them. I see it as something that goes from within to without. Women empowerment could take different forms, it could be done through education or providing access to information for women. However, in my opinion it is essentially a process that involves helping these women to look inside themselves and find the value that lies within.
The story I will share is a sad one. A friend of mine confided in me how her boyfriend nearly raped her and repeatedly coerces her to perform sexual acts that she is uncomfortable with. I listened to her without judgement and asked her some questions. i was careful not to seat in judgement, instead i encouraged her subtly to judge the situation and articulate what she needed to do. She identified for herself that evening how, her boyfriend had no right to subject her to such treatment. Beyond that she made a decision to get out of the relationship. she left my place happier.
The sad part is the DIFFICULTY I had. She has not opted out of the relationship yet. She is still with the boy and she looks unhappy everytime I see her. She has also distanced herself from me. She avoids getting into conversations about this issue. I simply don't know how to reach her anymore.


jadefrank's picture


Hi Olakitike,

I have had similar struggles with a friend who was in an abusive relationship. It is so frustrating to watch someone you care about, allow themselves to stay in that relationship. You want to be supportive, and while the message of empowerment seems to initially get through, it doesn't correspond in action. I think in these situations, as you feel your friend slipping away from you - it's important to let them know that you are not judging them and that you are there to support them no matter what. Hopefully she will come around and by feeling your unconditional support, have the courage to leave him. You might encourage your friend to join PulseWire as well... where she will have an entire network of support. Thank you for sharing this very personal story with us.

Warm regards,

JaniceW's picture

Very sad

Olakitike, this is such a difficult situation and I think you were wonderful in your support of your friend, and having her reflect on the situation in a more objective way. I encourage you to reach out to Maria and Olutosin, both of whom offered wonderful advice to women (and friends who wish to help) in situations of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, I cannot find the post where they discussed this issue but I know that both women would be supportive in offering advice on how you might be able to help your friend further or what you can do for yourself so that you do not become consumed with her inaction. I encourage you to reach out to them both.

Maria can be found at:
Oultosin can be found at:

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