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My Letter to the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and the Family, Cameroon

Dear Minister of Women's Empowerment and the Family,

I salute your efforts in making Cameroon more homely for women.

However, something has been on my mind and I am here to share it with you. It is the domestic violence that several women still go through.

Emerencia is my brother-in-law's wife. She has been married for over ten years and marriage has been the most bitter experience she ever had.

Despite her hard work and commendable home making skills, her husband treats her like a puppet that is only good for two things: sex and beatings.

One day, she brought her hospital book for me to go through and I was moved to tears. 90 percent of her consultation notes read: "Assaulted by husband".

She has a chest pain that has refused to go. This chest pain is a result of the regular punching she goes through.

She is an ambitious woman but the state of her body may not allow her live long enough to achieve all she hopes to achieve in life.

Emerencia is not alone in this predicament. There are several other women, especially those from rural areas who suffer in the hands of the wolves they call husbands.

These women need a way out and your ministry is the platform that should bring a solution.

There should be a massive campaign against domestic violence. It should be on television, radio, in newspapers, on billboards, in churches, in neighborhoods, in villages. It should be anywhere and everywhere that matters.

When you do this, even a cockroach will know that domestic violence is unacceptable in Cameroon. Let the men be aware of what they will suffer if they mistreat their wives again. Let every culprit be duly punished.

I am tired of seeing men commit those barbaric acts and get away with it. Please put an end to this madness.

I long to see a Cameroon in which men in urban and rural areas will deeply respect their wives and treat them as their own bodies.

Best of regards as you continue your good work.

Precious Meshi Nkeih

Comments

Y's picture

How infuriating! I don't know

How infuriating! I don't know what we can expect of men until we stop giving birth to boys in order to fight, and giving birth to girls simply to breed more fighters.

Children learn what they live. Women need to take responsibility for stopping their own births of the children of abusers. A man who abuses his wife will also abuse his children in some manner, and often the abused women turn their helpless anger on their children. At the very least, free and accessible birth control should be offered to all women to prevent children being brought into abusive homes that will perpetuate the violence.

Y

Precious M's picture

I have two daughters so...

Y, you are so right when you say an abusive home is not healthy for children. Children who grow up in such an environment are likely to be abusive too. So abusive leads to more abuse. It is a vicious circle.

I have two lovely daughters and yes I teach them everyday to fight!

Thank you Y!

Precious

My pen speaks

Y's picture

I hope they will be able to

I hope they will be able to fight with their brains instead of their bodies.

Y

Precious M's picture

That is what I am teaching

That is what I am teaching them.

Precious

My pen speaks

Adahmbah's picture

Wonderful inside and All thombs up

Thanks for reechoing the dilemma of women victims of gender based violence, you just said It all and Emerencia is just one out of a million, because our system seems to ignore the plight of victims of gender base violence. Nobody cares and no laws are put in place to punish the abusers. Most of us have suffered from this plight and monster which has taken the away great women of caliber and potentials. I marvel when i hear the statistic given by the UN Cameroon as 45% of women still suffering from gender based violence. I wonder if this real reflects the true image of women in Cameroon. Much still has to be down to end the enslavement and violence against women and girls in Cameroon.
Adah

Precious M's picture

Much still has to be done.

My dear sister, so much has to be done. Those statistics are alarming!
I just moved to the US with my family.
Here is another brother-in-law who was very abusive to his wife back home.
Some weeks, he will beat her everyday!
But when they moved to the United States, that monster in him forcefully died.
Because he knows that such a thing is not tolerated in this society and there are serious repercussions for that.
We need such an atmosphere in Cameroon.

Love,
Precious

My pen speaks

byamungu bahati pascal's picture

C'est émouvant votre lettre.

La situation dans laquelle vie Emerencia dans sont foyer est touchant. Il est inacceptable que certains personnes continuent à se comporter de cette manière. Les hommes et les femmes sont tous égaux devant Dieu et devant la loi. Les coupables des actes pareils doivent toujours être punis.
La lettre que vous avez adresser au Ministre reflète une situation qui doit être pris en compte immédiatement non seulement dans votre pays le Cameroun, mais aussi dans tous les autres pays car cette situation est dans presque tous les pays. Une grande lutte doit être faites pour mettre fin à l'impunité.
Merci de nous avoir mis au courent de cette situation.

Pascal BYAMUNGU

Precious M's picture

C'est grave

Pascal, la situation est tres grave.
Il s'agit qu'on faire quelque chose immediatement par apport ca.

Merci, Pascal!

Precious

My pen speaks

RHUHUNE CHRISTELLE's picture

Je suis fière de vous comme

Je suis fière de vous comme vous avez brisé le silence. C'est une situation qui nécessite être dénocer.
Merci et courage

christelle

Precious M's picture

Qui Chistelle

Il faut briser le silence.
Merci!

Precious

My pen speaks

byamungu bahati pascal's picture

Je ne peut que t'encourager

Je ne peut que t'encourager pour toute la lutte que vous faites. On est appeler à ne pas garder silences au danger que l'on observe.

Pascal BYAMUNGU

Precious M's picture

Merci!

Grand merci, Pascal!

Precious

My pen speaks

HOPE tOWELA's picture

A CROSS-CUTTING ISSUE

I totally agree with you, the reason why I say that this is a cross-cutting issue is that, domestic violence against women is everywhere and we women need to stand up and speak one voice.

Women in my Country are also experiencing this, I am also a victim and I have decided to come out of it, because I know I deserve better.

Am with you and support you, we do need massive campaign against domestic violence. It should be on television, radio, in newspapers, on billboards, in churches, in neighborhoods, in villages. It should be anywhere and everywhere that matters. This is the only way we women will let people know that, women shoul be be safe and the free from domestic violence.

Stay Blessed.

Hope.TMT

Precious M's picture

Thanks Hope!

This vice really cuts across many cultures.
I am glad you came out of it.
Yes, women need to be safe and free from domestic violence.
Thanks for the support, sister.

Love,
Precious

My pen speaks

HOPE tOWELA's picture

Thanks

It not easy, but with God's grace , all things are possible. Let us not give up.

Stay Blessed.

Hope.TMT

amirchima's picture

A new reality

Precious, thank you for sharing. Continuing to share, such as you and Hope have done, continues to reach more ears and the ripple effect of change is bound to come.

It's amazing how your brother-in-law changed his habits once he came to the US. It shows you how change can have an impact. I wonder if there are more statistics available from other countries which elicit the current percentages of domestic violence, and the impact of enforced legal changes (if any). It could be valuable information to present to the Ministry.

Precious M's picture

Sure!

It's really amazing how the man changed when he changed society.
I'll check out those statistics and see.
Thank you!

Precious

My pen speaks

Y's picture

Animals don't understand

Animals don't understand reason, only physical consequences. It is the men that must put pressure on other men to behave as humans, not animals. And women need to wake up and stop falling for men who only act as animals.

Y

Precious M's picture

Animal is the word

The word, "animal" aptly describes me who act like that. Let me add that they are human beasts and not human beings!

My pen speaks

William's picture

domestic violence

Dear Precious, thank you for your well-written and forceful letter sent to the Commissioner in Camaroon. This is a wonderful example of using communication to demand and start change. Congratulations and keep up the good work.
blessings,
William

Precious M's picture

Thanks William

Dear male ally,

I look forward to meeting more men like you who will support work aimed at ending gender violence.
Thank you!

Precious

My pen speaks

William's picture

Precious

You are welcome, my sister. We are all connected and I urge you to keep writing and speaking out. It is the only way change will happen.
William

kpisinski's picture

Well written plea

In the United States 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence. Most incidents are never reported! Your statistics are higher and yes, it is all alarming.

All of our cultures and media supporting our cultures need to change to value and respect women as equals. Rural areas must be educated so that cultural norms can change and children can be taught that every person regardless of gender is equal and deserving of respect and deserving of a life without violence.

Changing laws, although necessary so that violent men are arrested and suffer severe consequences regardless of whether the victim wants, is not enough. The people of each country must stand up and believe we all deserve a life where our bodies and minds are free from the violence of others.

Keep fighting the fight!

Kim

Kim

Precious M's picture

Dear Kim...

If in the United States, 1 woman in 4 experiences domestic violence, then you can only imagine what happens in developing countries. I have tasted the two of both worlds and trust me, I know the difference.

Yes, we must keep fighting no matter where we are. No to domestic violence!

Thank you dear.

Precious.

My pen speaks

Hannah B's picture

Thank you!

Precious,

Thank you for sharing your words -- they are so important, and felt by women all over the world.
I hope that you find wonderful support in your community -- I know that with your strong voice many people will hear you, and hopefully more and more people in power will stand up and start to pay attention.
It is so very important that men stand up, also, and make it unacceptable to hurt a woman in their homes, among their peers, at work, etc.
I have spent time in Cameroon and it is a very beautiful, wonderful place! I was happy to read your letter and I hope to read more of your writing one day!

Take care of yourself,

Hannah

Precious M's picture

Your words are sweet

Dear Hannah,

Thank you for reading and for motivating me with such sweet words.
I know support will come.
Good to know that you spent time in my country. Which part were you in?
You sure will read more of me.

Stay blessed,
Precious

My pen speaks

Chinemu's picture

Great

Precious,
Thank you for calling for consented efforts from everyone on this violence that women sometimes deem normal.
Everyone needs to get involved, even the women themselves. Let no woman allow herself to be hit, Let us fight the men back, if it means punch for punch, so be it.

Great letter to the Minister of Women's Empowerment.

Precious M's picture

Haha Punch for Punch!

Chinemu love, sadly enough some women embrace this vice and call it "love."
We are not just spectators, we are participators. We are fighting and we will certainly win!

Thank you!
Precious

My pen speaks

RosemaryC's picture

Keep on speaking up!

Dear Precious:
Thank you for being such a strong and powerful voice for Emerencia, and for advocating on her behalf for government to take action to deal with family violence.
One way women in Canada began to push governments into action, several decades ago now, was to begin looking at how much family violence cost the overall government system. They started looking at how much time the police spent investigating such complaints; how much time the courts spent dealing with offenders; how much prison resources were used if the man was jailed; how much time the work force lost because injuries made it hard for women to work; and how much time the health care system had to spend with the battered women. When governments saw the problem that way, then investing in education about family violence and preventing domestic violence became investments that saved governments money.
So, while of course we think first of the Emerencias, you also may want to think about how you can increase the power of your powerful words by adding some statistics to your letter, so the government begins to start thinking in different ways..
I wish you much strength, as you keep on advocating for those who are not able to speak up for themselves.
Blessings,
Rosemary

Precious M's picture

Important point.

Dear Rosemary, you raised a salient issue here: statistics!

It is heartrending to think of how many resources are lost due to acts of domestic violence. That is a great way of tackling it.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing such profound wisdom with me.

Love,
Precious

My pen speaks

Diane Ezeji's picture

such support!

I enjoyed reading your letter and then all of the letters of support you have received. I think there is a shame, or stigma attached to being a victim of domestic violence, so we downplay it or hide it ourselves as well. The culture as a whole has to take a stand and say "this is not how we treat women", "this is not how decent men act". I think men should be putting pressure on one another to change their ways. They don't seem to respect our voice, perhaps they would listen to other men who stand against violence.

Diane Ezeji

Precious M's picture

We need male allies!

Yes some victims of domestic violence do not bare it all. They die slowly in silence. There is a healing that comes when women learn to speak up. And yes, we need a lot of men who will talk to fellow men who abuse women. Man to man talk is a great strategy to curb this vice.

Thank you!

Precious

My pen speaks

irmia's picture

Keep fighting!

I am with you, my friend!

We face the same problem here. But our problem is with the court. When the police give their best effort, the court fail them, and it made them hopeless.
We ourselves need to keep on fighting.

Mia

Precious M's picture

Thank you for the support!

So sad to hear about the injustice that takes place in the courtroom which is supposed to dish out justice.
That is why we must not keep quiet.
We must fight our course and not leave our fate in the the hands of some hopeless courts.
Thank you for standing with me.

Love,
Precious

My pen speaks

PeopleWeaver's picture

Emerencia

How is Emerencia? How many children does she have? The man is a monster, it must be hard to go to bed and wake up with himself. He is also a teacher. But, right now my mind thinks of Emerencia and my heart breaks. Jeanne

Precious M's picture

Emerencia is pushing

She has 3 kids. It is really heartrending!

Precious

My pen speaks

Y's picture

My precious Precious, Until

My precious Precious,
Until women are willing to stand between their children (unborn and born) and themselves, nothing will change.

I have stood between many women and their children against abusers. The women have consistently chosen their men over their children. I have ended up the target of community abuse. I don't know how to proceed from this reality.

Y

Precious M's picture

Got you

I wonder why a lot of women still fall for abusive men. You see a woman going through hell in the hands of a man but she keeps cleaving to the man. Strange huh?

My pen speaks

Y's picture

For many years, our religious

For many years, our religious leaders have taught that women are to be submissive to men.

Y

Precious M's picture

I do not know about other

I do not know about other religions but Christianity asks a woman to be submissive, then asks the man to love his wife as his own body. That in no way encourages violence against women. Women are to be loved and protected. Submission should be an advantage and not a disadvantage to the woman as many have taken it to be.

My pen speaks

Y's picture

I agree with this, but

I agree with this, but Christian women must have a way out when their men mistreat them. We must stop making excuses that abusers simply don't love themselves. While this may be true, hatred of self can never be a reason to take this hatred out on others.

Y

Precious M's picture

Yes Y, that does not mean

Yes Y, that does not mean there is no way out for Christian women. It rather reveals the weight of the crime of an abuser. There is NO excuse for domestic violence.

Precious

My pen speaks

CamilaFMScialla's picture

Precious, Your letter brings

Precious,

Your letter brings up a crucial issue that happens worldwide. All governments should take more action to address domestic violence. I'm so sorry to hear about Emerencia and that she is also abused by her husband. I hope that her and others like her in the years ahead will not have to endure such atrocities. May we all take efforts to ensure that every woman everywhere is treated well.

Peace,
Camila

Camila

Precious M's picture

We All

Camila,

I agree with you that we all should make efforts to see that women are treated well.
There is indeed hope ahead.
Thank you!

Love,
Precious

My pen speaks

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