Akpan is a toddler from Nigeria. His parents adore their little champ, even though he’s unable to call them “mummy” or “daddy.” They know he will speak someday, but when? They watch him struggle daily to mutter a sweet word. He can’t run to give his parents a hug. When will their child speak and walk? Who will help and what can we do to help him?
Domestic Violence Awareness Month happens in October, but every day of the year several thousands of people are experiencing harm in their relationships. Normally when people hear of domestic violence stories they think of a woman, scarred and bruised from being battered by a man. The image of a woman’s swollen face with a black eye and bloody lip is probably the first visual that forms in most minds when they imagine someone who has experienced domestic violence.
I’ve always known that I was different. Born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, as an immigrant African woman, I have struggled with major depression all of my life. It’s a topic in my community, as in other communities of color, which is often swept under the rug. My depression was caused by numerous issues. After struggling with this issue since my early years, I decided that sharing my experience with depression is a way of empowering other women and girls to do the same, while removing the stigma surrounding depression and other mental health disorders in diverse racial and ethnic communities.
What if you had the chance to help someone feel less alone in the world? What if you could help reframe how the world responds to someone’s silent pain?