July 19, 2024
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Your abuser is only as strong as your silence – Leelai M. Kpukuyou-Browne on domestic abuse

Leelai M. Kpukuyou-Browne, a revered women’s rights advocate and social reformist has called on women across the continent and the world at large to speak up when they are going through any form of abuse.

According to her, the silence of the victims is the tool that abusers use to sustain the power they have over them. Mrs Kpukuyou-Browne believes that speaking up is the main route to mental freedom and the road to recovery.

Leelai Kpukuyou-Browne who is a highly decorated trade and investment expert, women’s rights advocate, and Philanthropist is currently on a journey of empowering women facing various forms of abuse, using her personal experience as a case, detailing how she has stood in her truth and authority against her abuser.

She was a guest on ace broadcaster Oheneyere Gifty Anti’s Standpoint television show.

Leelai intimated “After I started speaking up in an attempt to free myself and to receive the same grace that I have extended everybody, I received a cease-and-desist order.”

“Do not speak on any of these things, nobody needs to know these things happened, my lawyer will reach out to you If you dare say anything. Actually, that was after my first video of me coming publicly to talk about what I went through. The next day I granted another interview to speak my truth with the cease-and-desist order. In defiance, How dare you! The audacity to try and tell me how to go about speaking my hurt, my pain, controlling my narrative. The audacity to do that is what feud me to want to come out and speak up even more. You think you can still control me; you think you are still in charge. Your abuser is only as strong as your silence”.

She continued, “So, I came to a realization of radical acceptance and understood that Leelai, this is not you entirely, this is just a page in your book. You are not defined by this; this is not your full narrative. You have it within your power, you have it within your authority to take your life back”

Leelai continued to assert that women facing domestic or marital abuse need to stand up and speak up today to set themselves as role models for women and their young children in to imitate whenever they are faced with similar situations.

According to her, you will be able to vindicate yourself some years from now as a survivor and a fighter by standing up and speaking up today.

The social reformist ended by advising women to not get frightened by threats from their abusers as they only get strong when you show them your fears and stay quiet.

Leelai is on a journey to help women especially professional women to stand in their authority to fight domestic abuse and societal stereotypes. She ascertained that most women are unable to speak up when faced with cases of domestic or marital abuse because of threats they receive from their abusers whenever they try to speak up their truth. They however end up coiling back into their shells and keep mute over fear and intimidation.

Background

Leelai M. Kpukuyou-Browne is a highly decorated Trade and Investment Expert, Women’s rights advocate, and Philanthropist. Over the course of her career, she has been the recipient of the Conspicuous Service Medal award(CSM) for her dedication to post-conflict peace negotiations and post-war economic development in the Republic of Liberia.

As an international public figure involved in Liberia’s governance and political tapestry, Leelai has been involved in several international civil service and development assignments, as a senior Trade and Investment consultant and has consulted for and led several Technical delegations to the African Union Commission Department of Trade and Industry, the United Nations (UN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the High Commission for the United Kingdom of Great Britain in Liberia.

Remaining cognizant of her personal encounters with war, displacement, and domestic violence, Leelai established the African Youth and Women Empowerment Initiative (AYOWEI). AYOWEI, a non-governmental organization incorporated in the United States and the Republic of Liberia, seeks to develop youth and women in Liberia through socio-economic aid and affirmative action.

Leelai’s humanitarian work has impacted the lives of thousands of women and girls across Liberia and West Africa, through her Non-Governmental Organisation (AYOWEI).

She continues to curate enabling environments and programmes as safe spaces for sharing stories and solutions, around issues pertaining to women in leadership and the rights of women and girls.

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