“My name is F. and I want to express my view on violence against women.
The reasons of violence against women in our society are the following: lack of education, the complex of inferiority, under-developed country, the rural living conditions, drugs.
As a consequence, we have loss of human lives and women with disabilities.”
F. comes from Cameroon. She is 26 years old, and she stays in one of the apartments of ARSIS’ “Diaplous” project.
What did you do in your country and why did you flee?
I went to school and after that, I worked undeclared and thus illegally, as a hairdresser. Me and my mother had experienced domestic violence and abuse from my stepfather for many years. When I felt that my life was in danger, I decided to flee the country.
The mentality, the stereotypes and the norms in Cameroon lead men to think that they are superior to women, and they don’t believe that women have the right to speak and express themselves. Even worκ, if you are a woman, is difficult, as many men, husbands, fathers, any man in our life do not allow us to do so; if we disobey, they may become violent against us.
The main reason for this mentality is poverty, the closed society, the lack of education and culture such as art, movies, events.
How was your journey to Greece? Was it dangerous? What kind of risks did you face?
The journey was really difficult. Here, in Greece, I had to experience again violence by my boyfriend, who used to beat me, abuse me mentally and physically, and treat me in a humiliating way. As I had already experienced violent behaviors in the past, I decided to leave him and ask for help. This was not easy but finally I feel that I am free from the past.
Did you experience violence during your journey?
During the journey I experienced the deep fear of travelling alone, of not being safe.
What being a woman does it mean to you?
Woman means life… We are the mothers of humanity… We are born to be alive and produce life.
What is your message for today?
My message is to say NO to any kind of violence against women and girls. We are human beings, and no human being deserves violence. We deserve to be free, to express ourselves as we like, without the fear of ending beaten up. We have to speak, if we don’t speak no one will know what we are going through, no one can help us.