RAVELOARISOA Patricia Bien Aimée

RAVELOARISOA Patricia Bien Aimée

Date: April 4, 2016
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My name is Patricia, and I live here in Mangarivotra, Moramanga. If we go back to my life story, it’s 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 their maid.

We were living in Antsirabe back then and I didn’t go to school. I stayed 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 felt love because I was eager to leave my older sister’s house and the hardships.

But I only met violence in this marriage and it grew 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, still a real child. If I had known the laws, I may have taken some legal actions for what they did to me. I was sent to school but on the other side I was asked to get with this man. What I really resent until now is the way my husband taught me to drink, smoke and go to balls. I realized that he wasn’t doing any good to me so I left him while I still wasn’t pregnant.

Starting from the moment I separated from my husband, I felt like a prisoner because I had no contact with anyone outside home. 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. So I can say that marrying him wasn’t really my choice.

We had a child. Days went by and so did the months and I got pregnant with our second child. But I didn’t just stay put and wait. I followed a training offered by some organization supporting women. The training was very helpful for it allowed me to improve my life. I started a small trade with cooked food and clothing to improve my family’s income.

We now have four kids and my small trading business constitutes my biggest pride and pleasure. I stayed with my husband only because of my kids but I still held 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 training 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 violence, the growing respect from my neighbors, as well as their respect for the strong and financially independent woman that I became helped a lot. 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 workshop and trainings helped me get over the obstacles on my way and to move farther onward. 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 training and workshops will go on.