It’s late in the afternoon. The four ladies who are sitting here today have not seen each other for quite some time. Everyone is amazed at how fast time has gone by. It’s been two years since Regain Trust had the first contact with Theresa. The lady who survived the gruesome fire that took her sister could not hide how grateful she was to be alive.
Theresa was born and raised in the northern parts of Namibia in a family of four sisters. The two sisters moved to Windhoek to look for employment. There was a special bond between them that was till that fateful night. It was like a dream when Theresa woke up in a room full of smoke. The neighbours frantically tried to help save the sisters. Unfortunately, one sister lost her life. Losing a sister and living with severe burns was not easy for Theresa, especially considering the fact she strongly believed that it was her boyfriend who had caused the fire. She developed feelings of anger that made it impossible to forgive the perpetrator. “I could not take it lightly. It was like carrying a heavy stone everyday. Some people who get frightened by just looking at me. Some would run out of words and others are interested to know what happened to me” she explains.
Theresa started to receive medical attention and counselling sessions after surviving the fire. She knew she had to do something to pull back her life. I used to go out with my friend and assist my son with his homework. A lot has changed” narrated Theresa.
Theresa has gone through surgery to replace the skin that was damaged. “After the surgery the pain is so severe. I am still going to have more surgeries” said Theresa.
Theresa has learnt to appreciate the small things that she used to take for granted. “My mother and my sisters spend a lot of time with me. They cook and feed me. I can do the rest but unfortunately, I cannot feed myself” said Theresa.
Many people reacted to the problem that Theresa have encountered. “I have learnt much about the spirit of giving and caring. If it was not for the doctors, nurses and social workers I do not think I could have seen this day. I received help from different people. I have learnt to forgive but it is not easy. It takes time and energy. If you ask me today how I feel, I tell you, I am doing well” narrated Theresa.
Domestic violence in Namibia has become a scourge for mostly women and children.
According to studies conducted by the Legal Assistance Centre in 2008, 41 per cent of females reported physical and sexual violence from their intimate partners during the previous seven or eight years. Jealousy, revenge or refusal on the part of the abuser to accept the end of the intimate relationship results in murder cases.
Regain Trust empowers survivors of Gender Based Violence through psychological therapy sessions, one on one and group counselling sessions. The intervention process helps and empowers survivors to open up and speak out about their experiences. Awareness campaigns are done through public dialogues, media campaigns and trainings. The organization advocates for a holistic approach to address GBV.
Regain Trust and (FES) Friedrich Ebert Stiftung with co-funding from the European Union are implementing a project that will contribute towards National efforts to address Gender based Violence and Learner Pregnancy in the Khomas, Erongo and Northern Regions. The project titled “Survivors Speak Up!” seeks to Increase and enhance the delivery of prevention, psychosocial, health, legal and protection services to reduce the prevalence of GBV & LP.
New Era Reporter
2018-09-07 09:15:09 6 months ago