Testimony of Suzette, former beneficiary of the Citizen’s Journey in Bissau:

” Today, I am a very different person from the one I used to be. I used to be withdrawn, I let people be violent with me. I didn’t know if I had the right to defend myself as a girl. Because there is no equity between girls and boys in my house, or even in my community. I didn’t know how to defend myself. I didn’t know that girls had the same rights as boys. Through the ‘Citizen’s Journey’ I learned that girls can do the same thing as boys, and at home I learned that I have the same rights as my brothers!

My sister and I suffered domestic and psychological violence. I was raised by my cousin and she mainly abused me psychologically. She used to tell me things that made me hate her. And she forced me to do jobs that weren’t suitable for my age. I only understood that it was violence thanks to the Citizen’s Journey. Now I know how to defend myself and assert my rights.

Today, I am raising awareness among people in my community, mainly girls, because in my neighbourhood there are many girls who enter  into prostitution, they go out late at night and don’t bother about school.  So I try to talk to them and tell them that they need to study to become great women in the future and not depend on men. Before the Citizen’s Journey, I wanted to be a computer technician, but since then, I would like to do environmental management to protect my country and my community. And I would like to get involved in an association to be able to protect children, girls like me who suffer from sexual abuse and psychological violence. Those who are forced to get married very early, those who become pregnant at an early age.”

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