Silence emboldens abusers, speak up –Kpukuyou-Browne urges victims


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

According to her, the silence of the victims is the tool that abusers use to sustain the power they have over them, hence, the need to speak up to garner social support and justice. She added that speaking up is the main route to mental freedom and the road to recovery.

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

She made these remarks as a guest on ace broadcaster Oheneyere Gifty Anti’s Standpoint television show, where she encouraged women, especially the marginalised to refrain from suffering in silence when help platforms abound now.

“After I started speaking up in an attempt to free myself and to receive the same grace that I have extended; I received a cease-and-desist order. This is what he said; do not speak on any of these things, nobody needs to know these things happened, and 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, and I was like ‘how dare you?’ What makes you think that you have the audacity to try and tell me how to go about speaking my hurt, my pain, controlling my narrative?” she said.

She continued: “So, I came to a realisation 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; it is not your full narrative. You have it within your power and authority to take your life back”.

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

Mrs. Kpukuyou-Browne 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.

About her advocacy

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.

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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