The founder of Leadership Nurturing, who is also a John Maxwell Certified Team member Hannah Lecha, has decided to add to the many voices that are fighting Gender Based Violence on women and Children.
Lecha hosted more than 100 people to an interactive session dubbed ‘Courageous GBV Conversations’ in Maun recently where she said the main aim was to get people to open up and talk openly about gender based violence. The session was conducted free of charge and was in partnership with UNICEF, who were also in Maun to launch the #EsengMoNgwaneng campaign; a campaign against sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
According to Lecha she was encouraged to host the session in light of the feedback she got from her coaching programme where she conducts such kind of talks at a fee and has had many people coming out and speaking about ordeals they have suffered as children. She explained that she had deliberately designed the session seating and proceedings to facilitate and initiate conversations among participants and it worked as a number of people who have been sexually abused as children managed to come out and speak out for the first time. She intends to work and partner with organisations with existing resources to assist survivors of GBV abuse who also offer specialised services in that regard.
Describing herself as an advocate against Gender Based Violence and Sexual Abuse on Women and Children, the Maun based personal development coach says her decision to join the fight against GBV was influenced by the fact that she too was sexually abused by a close relative when she was just 12 years old. She says even though she tried to tell close family members about the incident, her pleas were dismissed and ignored and at such she had no choice but to watch more children falling victim to her abuser over the years.
Her turning point she says was after she got married and had children and therefore realised that her own children were likely to suffer the same fate as her should she not speak out. According to the Maun based business woman, her husband who had somehow suspected that there could something wrong encouraged her and supported her so much that, she managed to speak about her ordeal and eventually and publicly come out.
She recently founded and launched the Hannah Lecha Foundation and says one of the core objectives is to contribute to the fight against gender based violence on women and children and the Courageous GBV Conversations’ signaled a start to many more to come.
Research has shown that 67% of women in Botswana have experienced Gender-based Violence, and only 2% have reported the violence. GBV survivors don’t report the violence for various reasons. Some are afraid of being victimised, some don’t know who to reach out to after they experience violence and others think that no one will believe them, and Lecha says she believe her efforts will bridge this gap.