Madagascar: Raveloarisoa Patricia Bien Aimée

Madagascar: Raveloarisoa Patricia Bien Aimée

Date: April 26, 2016
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My name is Patricia, and I live in Mangarivotra, Moramanga. My past, has been misery and hardships since my childhood. I lost my mother at the age of three, and I lived with my older sister but they didn’t treat me as a sibling, instead they treated me as her maid. We were living in Antsirabe back then and I didn’t go to school. I stayed at home and helped with the chores. I never knew what being a child is. The moment I turned eighteen, I got married although I didn’t really love the man but I had to because I just was eager to leave my older sister’s house and the hardships.

I only experienced gender based violence in the marriage and it went on and on. I wasn’t even mature then. I didn’t know what love was. I was so depressed that I wanted to die. I got my primary school certificate CEPE at 14. If I had known the laws, I may have taken some legal actions for what the people who were supposed to protect me did to me. I was sent to school but on the other side I was asked to live with this man. My husband taught me to drink alcohol, smoke. I realized that he wasn’t doing any good to me so I left him.

When I turned 20, I met a man that I liked; but I clearly saw that he was using some love amulet to keep me attached. And we got married. We had a child. Days went by and so did the months and I got pregnant with our second child. I joined the Gender Links training that supported women. The training was very helpful for it allowed me to improve my life. I started a small business, where I sell cooked food and clothing.

We now have four kids and my small business constitutes my biggest pride and pleasure. I stayed with my husband only because of my kids but I still have some grudges for all the insults and beatings I endured. These are the hardships I went through in my life and I can say that the workshops contributed a lot in the fact that I didn’t get discouraged while facing all those troubles.

The fact that I met women who were also victims of gender based violence, the growing respect from my neighbors I no longer have time to sit around and gossip with other women but spend most of my time trying to find ways of improving my business.

My aim is to do my part in sharing my experience and helping those who like me have been or are victims of violence. I will help them find some income-generating activities so that their family life can improve. I now have finished the third step of the training which is to gather all the privileges I’ve gained and to render it back to people around me.

All the teachings I got from the workshops helped me get over the obstacles on my way and to move. I am ready to stand as a witness and to talk about what I’ve been through and to encourage those like me to not lose faith but to stand as winners.

I would like to thank the people from Gender Links and wish that the workshops will go on.