The many cases of abused women and children have made me ask, "What can we do to let the world know that enough is enough? How can we help?"
These women and children are constantly suffering. Here are four cases that have really touched me.
Lady A. travelled with her husband to Libya, had their first daughter there, went to Ghana to settle, and started a project together with her husband. The husband later travelled to Europe and things seemed just fine. He decided that he wanted his family to join him in Amsterdam, so he returned to Ghana. While they were getting their papers processed, lady A. got pregnant with their second daughter. The man went to the capitol (Accra?) to check on her and the daughter's visa. Lady A. never heard from her husband again, and she nearly died during delivery. She had eclampsia and was in a coma for three months. Lady A literally had to learn to walk and talk again. After her discharge from the hospital, her husband's family traditionally divorced her. She did not hear from her husband again, she never had any support from him, his family took over their joint project, and she ended up living with her parents and without financial means. Lady A's sister and husband, who live in Europe, cared for her and her two daughters. Years later the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana sent officials to Lady A's home to verify that she was staying at the address her ex-husband had given the officials in Holland.
(Officially they were still registered as being married and staying in Amsterdam, since the husband had applied for a visa for their first daughter.) It was during this visit that Lady A. found out that someone in Holland was using her credentials. The Embassy assured her that they would look into it, but the rest is a very different story. Lady A's sister hired a lawyer in Amsterdam for her, and she was personally in court in Amsterdam. In court Lady A 's former husband lied, saying that he had never been married to her and had only known her as a prostitute. He claimed he had never been to Libya, and that Lady A. was not who she claimed to be (using her own name). Lady A. nearly collapsed and had to be helped to her sister's house. She lost the court case, and lady A's sister and husband had to pay the court costs and the lawyer.
Lady A. officially divorced her husband then. She later married a German in Ghana. Her new husband applied for a visa for her and her children. Lady A's ex-father-in-law in Ghana (a former police officer) bribed the workers at the German Embassy in Ghana, saying that lady A. was still married to his son, which was a lie. To make a long story short, lady B. who was using lady A's particulars was eventually caught by the police in Almere, a district in Amsterdam. This took place almost two years after the first court session.
Lady A was summoned to court for a second time. In court lady B. admitted that she had bought lady A's papers from her ex-husband and his new wife, and this had cost her 30,000 gulden. At the end of the day this woman was given a light sentence and also got her residence permit for the Netherlands.
The court never compensated the victimized lady A. (whose second husband left her because of this case). The Ghanaian ex-husband is still living in Amsterdam. The police never picked him up, although they know where he is living.
The second case concerns a woman who approached me and my husband to write a verification letter for the court in an African country. She had property, which her ex-husband confiscated after leaving her and that area for another woman. We couldn't help her, however, because the court needs proof, and all the property was registered in the man's name.
A third case concerned a Germany woman, whose Dutch husband kept a pistol under their bed, threatening to kill her if she ever left him. When she could no longer stand his mishandling and maltreatment of her, she summoned all her courage and destroyed the gun and then ran for her life. But unfortunately she lost the custody of her child.