The world through my eyes

Posts tagged “rape

Mental Health Campaign: #HugSitawa

I remember looking through my Twitter timeline and seeing a young woman called Sitawa Wafula being congratulated for winning a philanthropy award and when I looked into her, I knew I must share her story on African Queens Project: http://africanqueensproject.com/2013/08/12/sitawa-wafula/.

Sitawa advocates on an issue that has been a silent killer on our beautiful continent, an issue that is usually blanketed by age old beliefs and harsh traditional views thus leaving the victims of this silent killer to miss out on much needed medical treatment.  The issue I am talking about is Mental health related sicknesses. Sitawa Wafula, after suffering a rape ordeal, rose up from the ashes by giving a voice to the voiceless via promoting awareness on Victims of rape as well as mental Health sicknesses, having developed one after her rape ordeal.

She has recently launched a campaign called #HugSitawa, “that aims to create awareness about mental health and suicide and also raise money for a toll free help line.”

“Currently, 1 in every 4 Kenyans will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. This narrows down to each and every household in this country having a brush with either bipolar, depression, suicide, alcohol and substance abuse disorders, just to mention a few.
…All these households will have to compete for the services of 79 psychiatrists serving a population of 40 million Kenyans.
…All these households will also compete for space in one referral hospital what is understaffed, underfunded and overcrowded.
…And like me, all these households will not have a proper support system.”

If  you would like to find out more about this campaign and how you can be a part of it, please check out this link for more information: http://sitawa.blogspot.com/2013/09/hugsitawa-campaign.html

I am hoping that by my sharing her story and her campaign that is currently located in Kenya, that it will be an eye opener for other campaigns in other countries like Tanzania, Uganda, and Chad just to name a few. Below is a blog post that Sitawa wrote where she poetically describes what happened to her the day that shook her world and turned it upside down. #HugSitawa

Sunday 15th

“I will keep telling my story because everyday,
a man, a woman, a child is raped”
Vip Ogola
In her interview on NTV,Vip Ogola said that she will keep telling her story because everyday, a man, a woman, a child is raped; and they need to know its going to be ok,that they are not alone. Back then I wasn’t sure, I was scared, I had no one to tell me it will be ok,there was no story for me to relate to; pen and paper were all I had, my poetry was the only solace; so I did what I thought best…wrote a piece about it and went on. Right now I am sure of myself and I, too, will tell my story so that someone out there will know they will be alright, that there are people who care, people who have been there…Sunday 15th

Sidenote: It is a long piece, unedited (OK just worked on the paragraphing, period). When I was working on my book I thought of shortening it, but yet again I looked at those pieces and saw how they have made me, and the fact that I didn’t write this or any piece for entertainment or for literature critics to see if it follows the rules. Poetry is my vent and the book is me opening part of my diary to the world and yes it was to be out mid this year, and it is ready but I, too, have to be ready.@Vip, you don’t know how your voice has helped me, right from when I read your story on The Standard to seeing you on national television plus the many things you do for people who have been raped. Makes me kinda wish I met you back in 2003,but all things work at His time so its never too late…May He continually bless he works of your hands.
Oscar Wilde said, ‘There are many things that we would throw away, if we were not afraid that others might pick them.’ I have held on for far too long, now it is time to let go. I wrote this piece on after events that took place on Sunday 15th June 2003 for therapy and it has helped me for the last 6 years. Now I write it in my notes, praying it does the same for someone.
I am ready to move to the next level of healing.
SUNDAY 15TH
If the sun was there on that day, I don’t know;
And if it shined brighter than ever, I don’t care.
My tears, all view they clouded.
What moved me, to date am yet to know.
An errand to run, you said you had,
Before I fully awoke, you’ll be back,
As the day to spend together you desired.
So over I turned,
And deep into sleep I fell.
If all the anger I feel is at you, I don’t know;
And if you spend your whole life making amends, I don’t care.
Nowhere in sight, so off I go.
Your best friend I meet, wish I never stopped to buy that gum.
A message from you to me, he to keep me company.
Back to the host we agree, a little more time he said.
A little spike in my cup of tea he added.
One sip, two sip;
Cant recall if there was a third.
If the hosts heard me cry out for you, I don’t know;
And if you know I cried for you, I don’t care.
Back from the dead I return, warmth behind me I feel.
My love when did you arrive, stone face meets my eyes,
Shock, worry, their brothers and sisters on me descend.
A leg out the bed, chill over my body.
Naked as a new born
Not a cloth in sight.
Just a rubber on the floor.
If I vomited on the bed and blankets, I don’t know;
And if the vomit remains to date, I don’t care.
Sick all over my body, headache, numbness, anxiety.
I need my clothes, I want to go home
A word out, a threat
One look at his monstrous face, more vomit,
Disgust and fear.
Slowly he dresses,
Looking satisfied.
If my best friend thought my request for a dagger was a joke, I don’t know;
And if I got one and killed him, I wouldn’t care.
He is mocking me,
Enjoying every moment of my anguish
Where are you?
Did he know you wont be back?
Why did I go back?
If I didn’t care about my breath and stop to buy gum
Or drink that tea?
If everyone pointing and laughing, knew my dirt, I don’t know;
And if it became local gossip, I don’t care.
A cloth at a go I get, as against you he talks,
To every comment I agree and thirsty I claim to be.
A glass of water he fetches, out the door I run
Tears streaming like a river
Tripping and almost falling
All this after a pretend siding with him
The only way out I saw.
If one should or should not take a shower,I didn’t know;
And if that was removing evidence, I didn’t care.
I was out
Feeling dirty
Ashamed
What would you say
Would you want me anymore
My best friend on road I meet
Why the tears
What tears
I’m just high, its the weekend so it allowed
Cold shower
No effect
If someone had seen me and told the folks, I don’t know;
And if she could have thrown me out, I wouldn’t have cared.
Home I go, effects of whatever spike taking toll
Seeing three roads, all leading to hell
A slap so hard no sense it brings, scissors on my hair
No longer beautiful, just a dirty, slutty piece of shit
Desiring death
Medicinal concoctions
Nothing works
If the folks sensed something was amiss, I don’t know;
And if your unbelief was shock, I don’t care.
A week outside I don’t step
Waiting, counting, wondering
Will they come?
Lord I cant be pregnant
Was that a cramp?
Away I go
As there is no one to talk to
If you’ll get to know what really happened, I don’t know;
And if you don’t, I don’t care.
Word around for me you have been looking.
Together I see you
Worry grips me anew
Do you know?
To ask I decide
Disbelief; you reaction
Driving the knife deeper
Though severely bruised,
Under this I try to arise.
A way to heal I need.
As much as you look at me,
You cannot see it.
But I carry a scar with me wherever I go.
And in whatever I do,
It is always there,
Watching me,
Mocking and degrading.

Julian Assange: True or False

This whole fiasco behind Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, got me reading into it even further because there is always more to the story. At the moment, what that “more” is, is yet to be revealed, but it doesn’t stop us from looking into the facts, cause no one can argue with cold hard facts, right?

Julian Assange, Wikipedia Founder and Political Refugee

1. Julian Assange fled Sweden to avoid Questioning: This is false. The facts stand that a Swedish court issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of rape made by two Swedish women, who were also former employees of Wikileaks. In fact, the case was dropped because it was too weak and he was given permission to leave Sweden on  15th September 2010. But after an intervention of a Swedish politician close to some American diplomats it was reopened again and a warrant for his arrest was reissued on November 2012.

(Source: http://justice4assange.com/February-Hearing.html)

2. Julian Assange will receive a fair trial in Sweden: This is false. Assange would be tried behind closed doors, which is contrary to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Art. 47 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the UK’s fundamental constitutional principles.  Assange would be held incommunicado and placed under solitary confinement and pre-trial detention would last for an indefinite period. If Julian is extradited, it is more than likely that he will be extradited to the United States where he risks being sent to Guantánamo Bay or executed as a traitor.

(Source: http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Prosecution#FUP)

3. Julian Assange was ordered by the British to turn himself in and he refused. This is true. While still at the Ecuadorean embassy where he was seeking political asylum, he received a letter from the Metropolitan police demanding that he surrender on June 28th, 2012 so that he can face extradition to Sweden. Julian denied the charges made against him saying that they are politically motivated and on June 29th, 2012 officially refused to turn himself in.

(Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57462889/u.k-police-demand-julian-assange-turn-himself-in/)

4. The British threaten to storm the Ecuadorian Embassy. This is false. They claimed that they would first revoke diplomatic status from the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain, thus no longer making it an embassy, which is allowed under the British Law. So technically if they go ahead with this plan they would not be storming an embassy, it would be a raid on a “building,” However Ricardo Patino, Ecuador’s foreign minister, told reporters, “The move announced in the official British statement, if it happens, would be interpreted by Ecuador as an unfriendly, hostile and intolerable act, as well as an attack on our sovereignty, which would force us to respond in the strongest diplomatic way….We want to be very clear, we’re not a British colony. The colonial times are over.”

(Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/us-wikileaks-assange-ecuador-idUKBRE87E16N20120816)

4. The UK does not accept Political Asylum seekers. This is false. The UK does, but the asylum seekers are scrutinized very carefully because of a lot of economic migrants claiming to be political asylum seekers. Though Assange was granted political asylum on August 16, 2012 by Ecuador, Foreign secretary William Hague said the UK does not recognize this and will not allow Assange safe passage to Ecuador.

(Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19281492)

Again these are just some facts and there is a lot more going on than is being revealed to the public. The fact that the British are willing to go to such extremes as to want to revoke an embassy’s diplomatic status to get a man who is vaguely accused of crimes with questionable evidence begs the question, why now? What is going on behind the scenes between Sweden, the UK and the US? What are they so afraid of now that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get Assange? I just want the truth and the truth will eventually come out.