Victims of abuse, rape and sexual harassment now have a new way to share their stories anonymously.
This is through the ‘Leve Dominik’ Awareness Campaign launched on Facebook on Sunday 27 November 2016 and being coordinated by Delroy Williams and Khadijah Moore.
‘Leve Dominik’ which is in the Kweyol dialect, means ‘wake up Dominica’ and according to public relations coordinator, Delroy Williams it was inspired by an ongoing campaign in Barbados dubbed ‘Life in leggings’.
“I thought that it was an important initiative that could really help Dominica, with sexual abuse and other areas related to the campaign,” Williams said in an interview with Dominica Vibes on Monday 28 November.
Williams teamed up with Khadijah Moore in creating analysis that was shared on Facebook, and approached various persons, asking them to share their stories.
“We also included that the stories will be anonymous, and no one will be identified through their stories. We also assisted the persons in crafting their stories, and as we shared what we received, more and more people have come forward, and now we have over a hundred persons who have already actively shared their stories with us, about rape, molestation, abuse, sexual harassment and other areas,” Williams informed.
Despite the shock and sadness after reading the stories, Williams is hopeful that through this avenue, the victims can receive some semblance of healing.
“A lot of people are shocked, but we are willing to share their stories. Some have called crying about the situations that they themselves have been through. We have persons who have asked for counseling, or company to go and report their cases,” he indicated.
“We are just hoping that coming from this, we can have a more concentrated effort towards raising awareness, and also in the sense of dealing with other issues related to situations like this; like counselling, reporting, and just giving people the necessary support systems that they need to recover and to continue living good quality lives,” he continued.
Williams advised victims to “speak up and speak out” and take the power away from the abuser, to stop being victims, and talk to someone that they trust. He further advised them to remain calm when telling their stories, so that if taken before the court, their facts are concrete and sound.
He also noted that Dominica now has stronger legislation to deal with perpetrators of these offences but said there is need for the implementation of stronger support systems such as counselling and therapy that will be more effective for the abused victim.
“We need the people to speak openly and as frankly as possible when it comes to issues, because a lot more people, than we think, have been affected by these situations than we think, so we need to listen up when we have to and speak as frankly as possible,” Williams said.
Any victim of abuse who wishes to share their story anonymously, or knows of somebody who was or is being abused can contact Leve Dominik via Facebook, or WhatsApp on 767 615-5881.
The following are two stories shared by Leve Dominik.
“Anonymous: #LévéDomnik I never lost my virgin but was molested… Remembering it like it was yesterday. Some friends of my father came over and their young sons had to spend the night because of space where they were visiting. Woke up with a feeling like my someone in between my legs, I was about 8 or 9. He had his mouth all over me when I tried to scream he blocked my mouth. The next morning when I woke to take a bath he was already by the bathroom shoving me to the wall I saying I must suck him back, holding his penis out. I tried not to but he kept shoving me….it was just unimaginable that strangers you trust into your home can be little your children.”
“Anonymous: #LévéDomnik I come from what I would class as a broken home- ever since I was a young girl about 5-6 years old, I was being abused – my mom used to go play Ludo by her friend and they would play on the porch and in the room the uncle children would stick their penises in me, young as they were, one front and one in the back and when they done as me if I want some milk and sugar in the glass- this continued for a while till I was bout 8- by that time they got more explicit with their words, one would tell me let him touch the pussy to see if it soft or hard – whichever it was he would give a different reason why he had to do it- also got abused by another cousin- he would ask me to come swing and when I sit on him push his manhood in me. my mom loved to go out have a good time so she constantly left me home with grandmother and other siblings and cousins who would gang up on me and is fight whole night- got the constant outburst of fya, malewez, and the lot from my grandmother once I won the fight. when my mother hit the others she would use a belt, but for me she would grab anything that was near her, until I started fighting back- and it got worse, scissors, knife, hot water, anything- when I say I going run away she would cry, and I would stay and they would do it all over again-at about 11-12 years I saw my lil bro pull down my cousin underwear and touch her vagina, and so she wake her just tell her she dreaming go back and sleep. When I told my mom and family who was playing card, and they ask me if stupid I stupid, how he can do that. they never asked him- from that moment I knew I could not trust them ever to tell I had been going thru-at 14 they brought my sister’s brother to stay with us to go school- ever night before I go to bed he would command me to come on his bed and he would suck my breast and finger me-this continued till he left the house at 17. my own brother who I shared a room with used to wake up early, get ready and go sit in the room till 7:45 and run down school, and I couldn’t come back in and dress till he gone so I would always be late for school- my first kiss was stolen by a guy who I saw today-he just stick his tongue and started going, then telling me he not feeling my tongue, he never asked if I done it before. I tried to have a bf at 18 while at college but fell like a used rag that didn’t deserve love- always thought like Cinderella a prince would come and save me from this nightmare but it has not happened-2 days before my 19 birthday I have first consensual sex but I never told him I never done it before or about the abuse so he just went normally and when he felt friction decided to go harder- blood everywhere- I felt raped, violated, I did not know how to handle love making, because no love was in me. slept with random guys, one night stands and never call them again -then I said maybe I will just have a child and forget the whole men story but my grandmother had told me I have to see my sis make children, I want to make and can’t make. this lived with me for years- until 25 when I had my daughter- I leave my daughter to go work and only to hear that a NIECE of mine was abusing her, kissing and touching her vagina- when I try interrogating her find out why that happened, my mother say she hit her already and the story die. I had to then think of where can I put my child or if is to stop work- kept the job bout started talk to my daughter about abuse and speaking up so I know she can be safe when I at work-every day we hear a story about abuse I would hear my mom say she don’t know how people cannot watch their child for people to use them- and if anything like that had happen to her children, what she would do- and I would just start to cry because it did happen, and nothing was done. I say she didn’t know, but some days I wonder-sigh”.