TALKING ABOUT ‘INTIMATE PARTNER ABUSE’ AT THE SEMA ANIKA FORUM, 24TH NOVEMBER, 2018

Hello and welcome back! I hope you have been fine and are taking care of yourself  more so your mental health. We are back with another post updating you on what we discussed at our last forum recently on 24th November. As usual we were at the YWCA HQ from two pm. in line with the #16 days of activism , we were discussing intimate partner abuse in a bid to try and understand what causes all these and what can be done to stop it.

The forum started with the usual pleasantries and icebreakers as we sought to know one another before delving into the day’s topic. Emcee ‘Enigma’ was at it again; navigating the difficult conversation with humour and enviable ease. He started by asking the audience what they understood by the words ‘intimate’, ‘partner’ and ‘abuse’ and finally the phrase ‘intimate partner abuse’. It was a very insightful session of listening to one another express their views or anecdotes of violent experiences in such a safe space.  For one, everyone seemed to have their own views as to what the topic meant but as the conversation progressed, we seemed to agree more or less that violence of any kind is wrong.

For most part of the forum, we seemed to talk about violence predominantly against women for various reasons which mainly revolved around misleading beliefs about women in a patriarchal society such as “I have to hit her so that she can respect me” etc., but we also broke the ice on the issue of violence against men. This was not discussed in hush tones as is common but rather we gave a voice to the voiceless.

Needless to say it was a very interesting conversation that almost ate into the time meant for the panel discussion. A certain lady from the audience performed a spoken word piece that ushered us into the next session for the panel discussion. Our very able panelists took over guiding the audience into understanding really what the day’s topic is all about and answering various questions. What I understood is that there are different forms of abuse such as emotional, verbal , physical, psychological and sexual. Intimate partner abuse is whereby someone you are close to and trust violates you in either of the ways stated above and for no other reason but the fact that they want to exert their power on you. Abuse normally takes different forms and one may not be able to see it at first but the panelists urged us that we should always speak up about abuse against us or people we may know are going through it.

After the insightful session, we had various music and spoken word performances on the issue and thereafter we unwinded to some refreshments, took pictures and networked. As we all left for home, the conversation still continues on social media and if you missed the event, as the future holds more of these, kindly don’t forget to make a date.

love and light 🙂

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