I want to thank the organizers of the Orange Day rally against gender violence (held in Antigua and Barbuda on November 25th 2015) for inviting me to participate. And I’d like to share with you, readers of the blog, a bit of what I read.
An excerpt from the excerpt of Genevieve (which can be found fully in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings):
With the music up loud she doesn’t even notice the beat up pick-up until it swerves in to her as though it means to hit her. She hops out of its path, tugging the bud of the ipod from one of her ears. She opens her mouth to give the driver a piece of her mind then pauses. She feels like she should know his face from somewhere, but she can’t place it.
The man, having brought the pick-up to a stop at an angle in front of her, looks her up and down in an overly familiar way, lingering on the juiciest parts of her, before saying mildly, “You ah buss wid fat.”
Her body jerks, as though hit.
She kind of just stands there, staring at him, and maybe he thinks she doesn’t hear him, because he repeats it, “You ah buss wid fat. Na put on no more.” He laughs then and drives off.
She’s standing there, at the crest of Garvey Hill, tears stinging her eyes, when it hits her, who he is.”
Pausing there, you’ll have to buy the book and read the story for the who.
And here’s an excerpt from Corporal Punishment (which I read in full and which can be found in full in Womanspeak – the 2013 edition)
It rocked us
Like a wave
At Fort James
In hurricane season
Only it was night and
Early summer still
And it came
Her body crashing
Against the glass
It broke up our talk
But the window didn’t break”
And now for some important information (from the 16 Days of Activism Domestic Violence Information manual by Intersect in Collaboration with the Directorate of Gender Affairs) – this is specific to Antigua and Barbuda and yet not as this is a problem everywhere:
“Domestic Violence is the abuse of an individual that is perpetrated by another in an intimate setting for the purpose of power and control. It is usually a systematic pattern of abuse that can occur in any relationship dynamic.
(A human rights reports on Antigua and Barbuda) noted that domestic violence is a serious problem in the country…the human rights report also noted that many victims are reluctant to testify against their abusers for fear of retaliation and social stigma. Women are disproportionately affected by domestic violence in Antigua and Barbuda”
For abuse survivors of any gender, they note that there is a referral system in place at the Directorate of Gender Affairs where counselors can be made available; and that the Crisis Centre can be reached via the DoGA hotline – 463-5555.
I will end only by saying, be an advocate against domestic violence wherever you are.
For more images and information from the rally and the full 16 Days of Activism programme for Antigua and Barbuda, check my other blog.