As a survivor of domestic violence, my purpose now lies in changing the statistics through a preventative process in a holistic and inspiring way. My own experiences have driven me to become an advocate and an educator. I want to help empower all people to work towards ending violence in all its forms. Everyone has the right to feel and to be SAFE.
Only you know every action you have ever taken. I want to go to sleep each night at peace with myself, harbouring as few regrets as possible, knowing I have done my best to contribute to a peaceful, compassionate, creative and sustainable local and global community. If you, too, want this kind of a world, then you will not accept the institutionalised discrimination and continued devaluing of girls and women.
After fifteen years spent as a media witness to conflict-affected peoples, my peacebuilding work has allowed me, in a small way, to be more effective in supporting some sort of a journey towards breaking cycles of violence. And yet why do I continue to see exactly the same conflict issues, no matter which continent? The patterns are so predictable. What is unpredictable is the ability of the human spirit to choose dignity over humiliation; the victim to become a survivor; the powerless to acknowledge their strength. This is a rite of passage to cherish because one chain in the long cycle of violence dissolves forever. There can be no more ‘dark nights of the soul’ when Truth becomes Beauty. Amandla Awethu!
I witnessed firsthand sexual violence and brutal exploitation of women and girls in armed conflicts. We must break the silence surrounding this issue so women can be seen, heard and be counted. It is our universal responsibility to give women a voice and space so they can develop their own strategies to end this violence.