Myriam Narcisse Bite
“That’s a question that strikes home because from my experience, violence is something we have to dig deeper into our society in order to address. Women and girls are the ones really bearing the brunt of the inherent presence of violence in every aspect of our daily life. For us as a society to be able to address violence, we have to start with not only developing a culture of peace, but also developing a culture of dialogue. We have to learn to talk to one another. I grew up with spanking and later physical punishment. This is the outward expression of violence but the communication that should happen within families and households is where this should begin. I was very much afraid of my father. I could not dream of going home pregnant because I knew he would literally kill me. In the way I was raised, I was never put in a position that allowed me to navigate the dangers and risks that young women are facing in everyday life. I believe this responsibility starts with women because women are the ones raising boys, and we should seek to prevent the unconscious perpetuation of these stereotypes. When we talk about violence against women, we definitely need to strengthen the law, strengthen the perception and provide resources through the development of our culture. Let’s say you are a victim of violence. How supportive and enabling is the environment to you actually exercising your rights? We cannot agree to disagree and find common ground. Something that is not reflected in our policies and resources is that even if we do not agree to disagree, a woman needs to be able to exercise her rights and to be supported."