Want to make a difference? 

Are you passionate about shooting the stories of individuals or organizations doing good for the world and sharing their stories in hopes of leaving positive footprints? Do you know what it takes to build amazing stories – giving your heart, time, and talent? Do you want to shoot stories that matter? Do you agree that there is a community out there that believes what you believe? Do you believe in making films with love, hope, and sense of accomplishment in return? Do you believe that the survivors of sexual abuse have life-altering stories, with patience and preparation you can find them and fill them? Inspired to pick up a camera after reading these? Us too! Come,  join us.


Team CLIMB is looking for talented and self-motivated film-makers who wish to a make positive difference and help others with their dreams. We promise you that you would be surrounded with young and bright people who will always support your goals and endeavors!

To learn more, please send a mail to info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com
If you are a survivor and want to share your story, please send it to us here

Spreading our story 
With the unique support from our members, CLIMB has expanded to more than 
12 countries. Our international outlook has now secured us a presence at some of the most socially impactful summits.

Our Pakistan Chapter Head 
Kulsum Pir talked at the Red Cross's event #BreakTheSilence, elaborating on CLIMB's vision. Kulsum concluded her inspirational speech in a way that moved the participants: "A woman is not a symbol of sympathy, when she can give birth to a baby, raise him/her, make her child successful. Raising voice for herself is her basic right and nobody can stop her from doing that. So stand up, speak for yourself and #BreakTheSilence" !

At another event, our Founder 
Poonam Thimmaiah and Board Member Abhilasha Prasad presented CLIMB at NYU's Green House Show & Tell and this is just the beginning of our journey to raise awareness. 

We are honored to announce that our South Africa Chapter Head, 
Florence Masetla, has been chosen to be ambassador for One Young World, which takes place in Bangkok this month. One Young World is the most preeminent Social Entrepreneurship Forum for Young Leaders globally, with counselors such as Desmond Tutu and Kofi Annan. Florence will also represent us at the African Union's Summit on Ending Child Marriage, 26-27 November.


Call for action

By the end of 2010, 250,000 girls in the Northern Regions of Ghana were sexually abused. If present trends continue, this figure is projected to double by 2030. Lack of education often plays a significant role coupled with gender inequality, low value accorded to girls, and is exacerbated by poverty, insecurity and conflict. This results in life-threatening health consequences, denies girls their rights to sexual autonomy, integrity, safety and puts more girls at risk of sexual, physical and psychological violence. 


CLIMB’s leader in Ghana, Abass Hamza, works tirelessly through his organization HACEP to empower survivors and advocate, inspire, involve and celebrate social change. Abass has been selected to attend the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Malta this November. He has been invited to attend this event as an Associate Fellow and has been asked to lead discussions in forums concerning violence and discrimination against women. Unfortunately his airfare has not been funded. If you would like to support Abass and CLIMB's quest to raise funds for his air tickets, please donate here

​                                          CLIMB Present at Mobile Journalism Competition
We are proud to announce that CLIMB will be represented at the European Mobile Journalism Competition. Many thanks to Yusuf Omar, journalist at eNCA, who captured our first-ever climb and chose this as his entry to the competition.
Click here if you want to re-visit the inspirational video.

Want to make a difference? 

Are you passionate about shooting the stories of individuals or organizations doing good for the world and sharing their stories in hopes of leaving positive footprints? Do you know what it takes to build amazing stories – giving your heart, time, and talent? Do you want to shoot stories that matter? Do you agree that there is a community out there that believes what you believe? Do you believe in making films with love, hope, and sense of accomplishment in return? Do you believe that the survivors of sexual abuse have life-altering stories, with patience and preparation you can find them and fill them? Inspired to pick up a camera after reading these? Us too! Come,  join us.
 
Team CLIMB is looking for talented and self-motivated film-makers who wish to a make positive difference and help others with their dreams. We promise you that you would be surrounded with young and bright people who will always support your goals and endeavors!

 To learn more, please send a mail to info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com

Living with Dignity
Mary Regina Ndlovu was one of the first people to open their heart to CLIMB and raise their voice- and she is now one of the first and most long serving members of our South African Chapter. She is an actress and has been starring in the "Mary Mary Mary" show at the Johannesburg Theater- the show depicts her abuse and discrimination for living with albinism. To find out more about Mary, check her interview at Japan's only public broadcaster NHK, Nippon Hoso Kyokai, here.

Mary and the very active South Africa Chapter are now participating in the 16 Days Activism Against Abuse Campaign, by joining forces with the Gender Based Violence Prevention Network.


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Our members' voice: Facing the social taboo 

When I was younger, a girl who considered me like her older sister came to me and said her uncle had come into her room and fingered her at the weekend. She was only 13. She didn't seem too freaked out so I didn't want to freak her out further and only asked her to tell her parents. She said she did. And that they said her uncle loved her and that this discussion was over. What could I say? That it shouldn't be? That it was for her to decide when the discussion should be over? I just said stay away from him. Never be alone with him. Ever.
A few years later when I became a leader at CLIMB against sexual abuse, I got in touch with her, absolutely certain she would want to be part of this initiative or at least share her story. She was enthusiastic, she asked so many questions and she couldn't wait to get involved and help other victims become survivors. The next day she changed her mind. She couldn't sleep all night she said. She relived it all she said. Good luck she said. I can't tell you how amazing an initiative it is but it hits too close to home she said. I can't do it, sorry she said.
She didn't say much more than that but I could finish up for her: 'what would my parents say if I came forward with this story? What would happen to my uncle? Would my friends change their behaviour towards me?' Isn't it ironic that survivors of rape and sexual abuse end up feeling guilty and end up protecting their abuser by being silent? Is it ok for perpetrators of sexual abuse to go unpunished? Doesn't this need to stop? 
I guess at least she was able to put this experience behind her and overcome the abuse. I really hope so anyway.
 
Lara Tabet | Head of the UK Chapter
Read our survivor-stories here.













​Highlights from our regional leads
USA – We have presented and spoken at various conferences including Barclays Wealth, Consulate General of India, and New York University to galvanize support and create awareness on the issue. Our next goal is to find local organizations that we can partner with.

UK - We have pitched about our initiative to the One Young World Community in London. We have also secured 2 survivor stories who have both showed a great determination in overcoming their experiences. The next step will be to reach out to university campuses where in the UK, the majority of rape cases arise and to partner up with already established organizations.

Israel – We have been in conversations with Brave Miss World Team and producer Cecilia Peck, who have extended their support in promoting CLIMB to reach more survivors.

Pakistan – Participation from Pakistan is ramping up. We just heard our first survivor’s story from Sana, who talks about family inflicted abuse. We have also visited various organizations and read our stories to other survivors to encourage them on their healing journey.

India – We are very proud of our member and sports professional Krushnaa Patil who has been volunteering in Nepal since the Earthquake. We feel very fortunate to partner with filmmaker Nikhil Singh to help us with all our upcoming survivor videos. We are in discussions with various organizations to collaborate and extend our efforts. 

South Africa – The team in South Africa is rapidly growing and we also have had our first survivor story published. We have bright plans for the future; we have walks scheduled for July and October of 2015 for CLIMB to raise awareness about sexual violence. We are also planning to have an education expedition in SA and are in talks with potential partners like Rapecrisis, Soul City Institute, Trybal Boys and more.


Thank you for all your support! Stay tuned for our upcoming videos.

My name is Terri and I am a survivor of rape. The night of the 16th March 2014, I attended a family member's birthday party where I met a lot of long distance new family members. I left my partner at the time at home and was due to stay over the night. One of the first people I was to meet was my attacker, a 17 year old cousin and his girlfriend. I spent the night celebrating; drinking; dancing; singing. It was a really good night. 
Towards the end of the night at the club the discussion of jobs came about and how several of the members of 'his' family including himself needed a job; we spoke a lot and agreed that he would attend an interview with me. After leaving the club I went back to the family-members’ house where we were staying and we drank until 4.30am! At the time I danced a lot so drinking was not something I really did a lot. It hit me hard. At 4.30am I retired to a room alone fully clothed...I  woke  up to my pants removed and his DNA covering me. I shuffled consciously to get dressed being woken by nanna shouting; every move I made was suffering, as I was beginning to realise what had happened. 'He' had run away!
















Our Vision
Climb against sexual abuse (CLIMB) is dedicated to empowering survivors of sexual violence and creating awareness in the society by sharing survivor stories digitally through articles and short videos. We aim to provide a platform for survivors around the world in order to break the silence on sexual violence, undo the stigma, shift societal mindset and create a powerful movement of global change.
CLIMB represents the journey that the victims take to become survivors.
CLIMB represents the journey that we, as a society need to make to overcome the social repercussions that exist today
CLIMB also represents the physical journey that we plan to take together to the mountains across the world and eventually to the Everest base camp.
We are planning small climbs along with survivors in some of our chapters, to symbolize the physical and mental challenges that a survivor faces. Our plan to ascend Everest base camp has been put on hold because of the recent earthquake in Nepal. We will re-plan and reassess once the Everest base camp opens up for public. Until then, we plan to continue with articles, short videos, presentations, smaller climbs and other collaborations.

Global Outreach
CLIMB was started by two One Young World ambassadors after attending the summit last year. Within 5 months of starting CLIMB, we have 16 members actively working in 11 different countries across 4 continents. We are in discussion with member/ leaders in Nepal, Ghana, Algeria, Canada and Bangladesh to start our next chapters. We have had 5 international events and touched 640 lives. In the last 5 months, we have gained 4.6k followers on Facebook and 10.7k+ views on our website. We have appeared on Huffington post, New York University Stern newsletter, as well as One Young World blogpost. Last but not the least we have had amazing support and advice from notable leaders like Jacob Lief, Montek Alluwahlia, Cecilia Park, Jeremy Levin, Cathy O’Dowd, Ambassador Mulay, Mallika Dutta and others. We are proud to say that we have achieved all this at an operational cost of 0$, made possible because of technology, social media and the vastly untapped power in people.

He decided to leave 3 hours before I woke up and run down country lanes out of panic. We rang the police. The process began with intensive DNA swabbing, police questions and led to court. I returned to work 2 days later... RTS had shocked me into believing I was coping... Through the months I was 'ok' until slowly I declined attempting twice on my life and losing everything around me that I spent so long building up. My 'forever home' was gone, my job lost, my finances in tatters and my court case also lost in January 2015. Watching him walk free after substantial DNA circumstantial and hard evidence was presented and the fact he lied on 3 occasions and was proven, has and will always be hard to swallow. I can honestly say now today since starting the campaign through parliament to change the UK law on Jurors I am more determined than ever to set my goal to greater heights. I have made a lot of progress through a social media page "Reach the state" in gathering momentum and support. My only advice is allow your process to happen, allow your mind and body to react because it knows what is best. Above all allow time and get support- your journey is temporary and in time you heal, never completely, it’s now a part of you. In time, the control you had before will be back and you WILL be stronger for your journey.

Read/share survivor stories
here.

Dear Global Citizens,

We believe that we can build a better world together, where compassion is rewarded, where love grows, and where people feel connected by sharing their stories. Team CLIMB is doing its part to make that world a reality by empowering rape survivors. We hope that you will join us in this beautiful journey. So act right now!

Got some free time? A week? A month? A summer? Come volunteer with us.
Know of a survivor who wants to celebrate his/her victory? Please introduce us.
Want to double your impact?
  DONATE!​​

​Lets empower together! 

CLIMB Newsletter, November 2015

Survivor of the month - Ellen Galupo, Canada

I have been a survivor of four different cases of sexual abuse.

I had always blamed myself as the first one happened when I was only 11 years old. I was told

to be hushed against the abuse as my abuser was a close family friend and a respected

member of the church. This affected my self esteem and I felt I did not have the voice to speak

out against sexual abuse. I felt alone against it.

The second time it happened, it was a fellow schoolmate in the large refrigerator in the school

cafeteria where I worked. My sister, who is also a survivor, (and was told to also be quiet about

the abuse which was done to her by our own cousin) called the police. The police let the boarding school where I was staying deal with the problem and they ended up letting him stay for the sake of his education, hoping they could help reform him. I was always scared and I could not join the school clubs as he was always signed up for them.

The third time was a social worker/minister whom I confided to about my past sexual abuse history. He took advantage of me outside of the Greater Toronto Area in an isolated farm. The fourth was an Uber driver who molested me in a parking lot.

I have started to blame myself. But I came to realize that I should have not been quiet the very first time it happened. Because I was told to hide it, it happened again and again and again because my self-esteem was so low that the predators could sense that I could be easily taken advantage of. This is why it's so important to speak out about it. Speaking out about something rather than hiding it in shame is empowering. It gives the power to the survivor rather than the predator. I want to be part of CLIMB because I am passionate about this cause, and I am now a strong believer of speaking out against sexual abuse as a way of empowering survivors and to raise awareness on the impact sexual abuse has on victims. 
Read more CLIMB survivor stories here.

Our survivors - Allyn Bernkopf, USA


I was a victim of sexual assault in my undergraduate. The feelings that you go through after being completely violated and having your rights as a female and HUMAN BEING ripped from you is massacring. In my situation, instead of turning to therapy, I chose alcohol to fill the void for years. Luckily, I landed myself in jail with a DUI and was forced to go to counseling/therapy for alcohol abuse, which turned into therapy for my rape (diminishing the alcohol abuse).
The saddest part of this is that 90% of my girlfriends have also gone through this, right alongside me. This should never happen to ANY human, female or male. We are all people. We are all made out of the same stuff. Treat each other with equality, love, and kindness.
PLEASE DO NOT apologize to me for my experience. That is usually the first reaction people have whenever they hear my rape story, and while I appreciate the sincere thought, you can't really be sorry for something like this. You were not my rapist. You were not there. And, again, thank you for apologizing for the thought, but it doesn't change anything. I was still violated. I was still victimized. The important thing is that I have MOVED ON, which is why I am talking about it in the first place. I have healed. Many have not. 
If you are at a party and you see something that doesn't sit right, you should probably stop it. If you are at a bar and see someone drop something into a drink, you should probably say something. There are many more situations that can happen and you won't be able to say something, but look out for each other. BE AWARE of each other. Help each other. Be the one to save another woman or man from having their basic human rights stripped. We are all on Earth together.
PLEASE SHARE. You can share my entire experience or write your own post, but spread awareness and support.
You can read more of our stories on our website.

Our members' voice

 Sexual abuse and social stigma

What started off as a need for me to be busy over the weekends, has become a priority in my life now. Joining CLIMB has opened my eyes to so much trauma women and men are facing in this world. And for no fault of theirs! Sexual abuse is a global issue. I could be the next target. My 4 year old niece is in danger if she goes out to play. I am worried about my mother who is in another city. Every woman’s life is at stake the minute they are out of home. We are unaware of what is in store for us each day. We are only stepping out of home, with a hope that we return safely.

I work in an Advertising agency and a part of my job also involves me to do some content development. Wanting to keep myself occupied over the weekends, I approached a couple of friends to get me involved with any content writing for their personal work. One of the offers I received was for CLIMB as I had some friends who were a part of this NGO. In order to develop relevant content for the website, I started reading about the work CLIMB does. The information I got was tremendous and something which really touched my heart. I felt the need to go out there and be a part of this selfless group, who spend their free time trying to help out others in need and to improve their quality of life. I felt it would be relevant to share a few facts about this cause to create awareness and to break the silence on Sexual Abuse. The next few lines may inspire a few of you to join our cause and support us.

In many parts of the world, rape is rarely reported, due to the social stigma. Women who have been raped fear being disowned by their families or subjected to violence, including Honour killing. The same holds good even in the east.  To be more specific in India, rape is the fourth most common crime against women. According to 2012 statistics, New Delhi has the highest number of rape reports amongst Indian cities, while Jabalpur has the highest per capita rate of rape reports. Several rape cases in India received widespread media attention, which triggered protests since 2012. But these protests do not seem to have changed the mindset of the people. Rape in Pakistan has also been notable and continues to be a tool for suppressing women across the country.


So what happens to a rape victim???
The effects and aftermath of rape can include both physical trauma and psychological trauma. Physical injuries though can be tackled and overcome; it is the mental and psychological trauma that can shatter a person’s life. The consequence of this psychological trauma is self blame. Self blame is the most common of the short term and long term effects of rape, which is highly difficult for a victim to face. People who experience behavioural self blame feel that they should have done something different and therefore believe that they are at fault.  On the other hand, people who experience characterological self blame, feel that they have something inherently wrong with them which have resulted in the physical assault that they have endured. The victims often internally blame themselves, especially because the feeling of personal danger occurs with blame. Re-processing the minds of the victims by giving them a logical conclusion, which is less influenced by shame or guilt, is an important aspect that needs to be focussed on.

A person who has been raped will generally experience high levels of distress immediately. These feelings may subside over time for some people. Individually each syndrome can have long devastating effects on rape victims and some victims will continue to experience some form of psychological distress for months or years. Let’s join hands together and build a better city for social citizens to rejoice over the success of the survivors and fill the world with love and passion, for these survivors to inspire others in their healing journey!
#CLIMB against sexual abuse! #GetInvolved #FaceTheChallenge #EndSexualViolence


Sunaina Ravindra | Head of India Chapter

CLIMB Newsletter, October 2015

Telling our story- One Young World Caucus

On Sept 25, 2015, Team CLIMB participated at One Young World Caucus, New York, an event that brings the One Young World Ambassadors together to discuss varied topics such as climate change, entrepreneurship and youth leadership. Addressing the attending guests was CLIMB’s Co-Founder and CEO Poonam Thimmaiah who enabled everyone to gain a truly global perspective of the issues surrounding sexual violence and society’s role in fuelling them.
 
Poonam gave inspiring examples of survivors who have broken their silence and how they are using CLIMB as a platform to share their voices with others in a safe, stigma-free environment. The movement started by CLIMB would ensure survivors’ voices influence and shape societal thoughts and actions in meaningful ways. The United Nations reports that one in three women becomes victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. So this kind of movement is long overdue. 

                                                    Join us in wishing CLIMB Happy Birthday 
CLIMB is proud to celebrate its first anniversary. From empowering survivors of sexual abuse, challenging social mindset, climbing mountain(s), educating the young and old, forming partnerships, and running campaigns, to making its physical presence in 18 countries and digital presence in a world that has no boundaries, the year was truly an unprecedented journey.

We could not have come this far without the tireless efforts of our dedicated team and your continued support.
Cheers to many more years of serving and excitement!

  Our member's voice


Rape – one of the most confronting words in the English language, but a dark epidemic that is all too often swept under the rug in many countries, including my own, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Many believe this Pacific nation is one of the freest countries in the world, which in many ways is true – we have freedom of speech, opportunity to study and pursue careers of your choice and the right to stand up for what you believe in. However, on the other side of the coin, there  is the harsh reality that our great nation has one of the highest percentages of reported sexual  abuse in the entire world with around 16.4% of the population being a victim to this taboo crime.   Hard to swallow? Well that is just the reported cases, imagine how much those figures could climb if it included those whose stories are never heard. Some reports suggest it could be as  high as one in five kiwis affected by sexual abuse. So, with all the freedom we take for granted  in Aotearoa, why is it that sexual abuse survivors and rape victims are still made to drift into the shadows voiceless? Why is the first question still “what were they doing?” or “where were they?” instead of “are you okay?” or “do you need help?”

In the last one year people from around the world have come together to support and create something that is much bigger than what we initially dreamt of. I wanted to pen down three of our major achievement, to recognize that this is something that we all should be excited and proud of.
 

  1. Empowering Survivors: We have partnered with survivors and supporting organizations to create a platform where survivors can support and empower each other. Together we have challenged social mindset, climbed mountain(s), educated the young and old, formed partnerships and  run campaigns. For this we have been featured in various media outlet including Huffington Post, eNCA, NYU, One Young world,  etc.
  2. Creating awareness: We have held workshops, educational outreach programs, conferences, meetings, and presentations to educate our society in various countries. We are currently active in 18 countries across 5 different continents and have local chapter heads in each of these countries working towards programs that cater to their respective societies.
  3. Impacting lives: At CLIMB we have built a structure that is different from any other organization. CLIMB is driven by young passionate leaders who influence their communities and empower each other from different parts of the world to create an organization that is innovative and unique. 

All the above achievement were obtained with a $0 operational cost, driven mainly by passion and hard work that our resources put into every program. I want to congratulate our amazing team on this milestone and recognize that without them, none of this would be possible.


I am excited and looking forward to all the plans we set to achieve this year and promise to work hard with all of you.
I believe together we can achieve bigger goals. Thank you for being part of this family.

Poonam Thimmaiah, CLIMB Co-founder

​​​​​​






​​Our members' voice:
Plight of abused women in Middle East


I was born in a village next to Nazreth and grew up here all my life. One specific story is engraved in my memory since childhood. It was about a girl named Layla*, who was killed by her own brother in the name of honor. I always wondered how a brother could wipe out all the memories and the feelings he had for his sister and brutally kill her. What shocked me even more was the real story itself- Layla was repeatedly harassed by her neighbor Omar who wanted to marry her but she never agreed. Annoyed by her attitude, Omar tells Layla’s brother that he saw Layla with another man next to the water springs. Outraged, her brother shot Layla multiple times because she had dared to disrespect her family. Of course, there was no truth to the story that the Omar had strewn together.

Growing up, I always tried to change the details of this story to flip the outcome and keep Layla alive. The beautiful face of Layla, her story, and her strength has always stuck with me. She had been betrayed by her own family for the sake of society. I soon realized that the society was much more important than any family relations, personal happiness or the integrity that one can have in Middle East.

When I joined Poonam to start CLIMB, I was expecting Middle Eastern victims would rush to me to tell their stories. Exposing these horrifying stories could help change societal views which can have an irreversible impact on the issue of sexual violence. I have visited a lot of organizations, met a lot of survivors, and I hear the same sentences over and over again.

“We are concerned about the safety of the victims”,
“I don’t want to bring shame to my family”,
“How can I tell the police about my brother?”,
“They will surely kill me if they find me”.

There is a lot of abuse that follows the actual act of abuse itself- the abuse that is inflicted by the society where these survivors are unable to speak up and report in order to find justice and eventually heal. Some of them have been abandoned by their own families, some tolerate the abuse in silence, and some others have fled and live in constant fear. This is the harsh reality of abused women in the Middle Eastern society.

I realized that CLIMB's target is not only the victims but also the culture of discrimination against women, a culture that allows violence to occur consistently and with impunity. We all are abused by some social traditions, which make us the prisoners of our own social habits. The first step is to free ourselves and fight for Layla and many like her. CLIMB in Middle East is engulfed in this vicious circle of survivors scared to report because of society, and society is not able to do anything because the survivors don’t report.

In order to break the cycle, we have started a new program through which we will be connecting some brave CLIMB survivors from other parts of the world to our Asian and Middle Eastern counterparts. Touching people’s life positively is one of the greatest gifts, and CLIMB is glad to have used the survivors’ voice to help facilitate it.

Your story has the power to heal and bring revolutionary change: please speak up.

Shada | Co-founder
*All names in the story have been changed to protect identity
Read our survivor-stories here.

CLIMB Newsletter, August 2015

GET INVOLVED. FACE THE CHALLENGE. END SEXUAL VOILENCE. 
JOIN US! 
Your donation will also go a long way.

Our first big milestone: Drakensberg climb in South Africa
We would like to congratulate our South African team for achieving a prominent milestone for CLIMB. On August 22, a group of CLIMB hikers composed of survivors and advocates climbed the Drakensberg-Maluti Mountains in South Africa which marked the first climb that we have organised. 9 young people took part in the walk. You can watch the entire footage here

Florence Masetla – survivor and team CLIMB SA
Khanyisile Nokuthula Hlatshwayo - survivor and team CLIMB SA
Yusuf Omar - eNCA
Rees Webber - ER24 and supporter
Wian De Beer - ER24 and survivor (Wian joined the CLIMB SA team the evening after the climb)
Daniel Gitoj Masetla - Gitoj Media
Peaceful Rakoma - Daniel' s friend and supporter
Dikeledi Angelinah Nkoana-Masetla - supporter
Patrick Seabela – supporter


"They wanted to show by an act of climbing a mountain the difficulties of living with the silence - in certain countries if you disclose abuse they would kill you."
- Florence Masetla,
Abuse survivor & Head of South Africa, CLIMB

“You don’t think it can happen to you. You don’t think it can happen to a child. But it happened to me.”
- Wian De Beer,
A abuse survivor who spoke out for the first time in an interview with eNCA, a national broadcaster in South Africa. 

"It really is about encouraging women to speak out because if you dont speak out about it, you will never heal"
- Khanyisile Nokuthula Hlatshwayo
Rape Survivor & Social media manager, CLIMB
 
Climb's activities are supporting survivors of sexual of abuse to break the stigma by telling their stories. Yusuf Omar, a journalist at the South African news outlet eNCA, used mobile journalism to make the stories accessible and influencing the conversation about sexual abuse.
"Mobile journalism, or #MOJO, is storytelling using a cellphone," says Yusuf. He produced several features, a short documentary and did live reports over Skype from the Drakensberg hike using just an iPhone 6 and a selfie stick. "Shooting with a cellphone was far less intimidating and intrusive for rape survivors, rather than shinning bright lights and a big camera lens in their faces. Many were telling their story for the first time, and I wanted them to feel as comfortable as possible."

This is the first step in a long journey for Climb. Next year, we hope to conquer Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp with a cohort of sexual abuse survivors and allies. 

Our heartfelt THANK YOU to the following individuals and organisations for their contribution in making the climb in SA safe and a success:

Media Coverage: 702 Talk Radio, Yusuf Omar and the eNCA team
Emergency response team: Rees Webber and Wian De Beer from ER24 & the Mountain Club of South Africa Rescue team.
Camping facility and hiking guide: The team at the Mnweni Cultural &Hiking Centre
Ground footage: Daniel Masetla from Gijot Media
Ground transportation: Ntate Seabela (JHB/KZN/JHB) and Mike Munro from AutoTrak for the short drive from the camping site to the hiking spot
Nadia Horn from Selena Travel CPT for organising the gifts for the climbers;
If you are interested in joining us, please write to us atinfo@climbagainstsexualabuse.com.

GET INVOLVED. WORK TOGETHER. INDUCE CHANGE. 
JOIN US! 
Your donation will also go a long way.

CLIMB Newsletter, July 2015

 CLIMB inspiring art- Meet Aditya Madiraju


CLIMB is instigating change outside the traditional definition of an NGO and has now proved to be a source of inspiration for art. We are proud to present Aditya Madiraju, whose dancing art has been inspired by CLIMB's mission. Aditya has been dancing since the age of 7 and has performed Folk, Bollywood and Classical pieces. Read below more on his story and how our mission has influenced his new dance piece that you can watch here. 

-Tell us a little more about yourself and this dance piece you have created?
I moved to Chicago in 2010 to pursue my masters and then to New York City in 2013 for employment. And this is where I discovered I can dance. After sorting through all the styles I think I have settled down for a fusion of Bollywood and Semi-contemporary, and all the pieces I choreograph have both styles incorporated. I also believe other most important aspect is expressions for dancing (the secret ingredient!). Other passions would be painting and theater. “Laga Chunari Mein Daag” is piece inspired by the essence of CLIMB. Telling the story of survivors and helping others on the way. I play the part of “self confidence” in this piece of a broken girl who has been a victim and the story revolves around her gaining her confidence back. The original song is by Manna Dey and this is a more recent version of the same.

-What was your main inspiration behind this piece?
One very important thing said by Poonam Thimmaiah, the Co-Founder and CEO of CLIMB which resonated with me was “Do not call them victims, call them survivors”. And in true sense that is all this piece is about. The piece was choreographed and performed for the 2nd showcase of “Junoon Performing Arts” at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center in New York City in November 2015. The theme of the piece is to show the struggle an abuse victim goes through everyday which includes losing self-confidence and feeling worthless.  I have tried to show the loss of confidence and how the victim is nudged and motivated to get her life back in control through this dance. It is a semi contemporary and Bollywood fusion piece that is based more on the aspects of expression and act. Monika Chadda did an amazing job of playing the part of the victim transforming into a survivor.

-What exactly do you want the overall viewers watching this video to do after they have seen the video?  
My vision is to integrate the daily struggles of life and create a piece around it, I feel rather than telling the audience a story we should tell them their story. I want the audience to understand that abuse victims require support and motivation, not the ridiculous blame game “whose fault was it?”. There are many who end their lives and many who fall prey to depression due to lack of support. This should not be the case specially when it is not their fault. The motto “If you see something, say something” should be applied here also. If you see someone being abused (of any kind) speak up and save a life. In future I see making a bigger impact with more dancers involved in this piece and representing it on a much bigger platform. A small effort to make a change through performing arts.

















                                                               






                                                                                     Our member's voice- Alex Bwaluka

A few months back, I joined CLIMB to start a chapter in Zambia because I am passionate about the cause. The reason I am more passionate about sexual abuse and child marriage is simple: I am a product of child marriage. My mother gave birth to me at the age of 15 and that is how she dropped out of school. Later on my father abandoned her.


I came to know my father when I was 15 years old. Still the man refused to be responsible for my education and social life. I started sponsoring myself and attended school at the age 12 till grade twelve. I would walk 8 days from Kasempa Zambia to Kipushi in Congo to sell either chicken or a goat to raise the money for my education. However, after all this struggle, I am now pursuing a Bachelors degree with Zambian Open University fourth year. The power of education is that it opens up opportunities.

I also got married at the age of 17. This could not last for too long because I could not sustain the challenges in marriage while sponsoring my family and school. I had to abandon the marriage and went back to school. I am the first born in the family of six, the only one who completed school, only one working and now supporting my three sisters and 1 brother with education. Two of my siblings completed last year and the other two are completing this year, God willing. 

I know we are many who have faced such challenges and the more we share the more we stop the vice. I am trying to see how we men can come out to denounce bad practices that ruin the future of our children. Though still struggling I at least have education to fall back on. 

Alex Bwaluka | Head of CLIMB Zambia chapter




                                                                       










                                                                          Survivor stories from around the world

In my early 20's I found that I battled with a lot, I was easily overwhelmed emotionally and just did not know how to handle inter-personal relationships. With each passing day I grew more and more impulsive, chasing to fill a hole I did not understand. I accommodated too many people and situations, used other people as a scratching post for many itches I had which landed me with unhealthy relationships, from my mother, my growing daughter and friends. Soon it all came crashing on me like a avalanche, at the age of 25 on a spotanious drive to Eastern-Cape with my best-friend. I had a horrible flash-back of myself as a young child in some men's room, on my knees. That is how I remembered that I WAS a victim of sexual abuse all through my child-hood, by a family-friend and a neighbor. The journey that comes with healing was not an easy one, it has involved many sessions of therapy, a lot of anxiety and tears. It gets better with time. Now at the age of 35, there are still new flash-backs, but the difference is I dont get the urge to run.
Palesa Mompe | Survivor, South Africa


                                                                                      Want to make a difference? 

Are you passionate about shooting the stories of individuals or organizations doing good for the world and sharing their stories in hopes of leaving positive footprints? Do you know what it takes to build amazing stories – giving your heart, time, and talent? Do you want to shoot stories that matter? Do you agree that there is a community out there that believes what you believe? Do you believe in making films with love, hope, and sense of accomplishment in return? Do you believe that the survivors of sexual abuse have life-altering stories, with patience and preparation you can find them and fill them? Inspired to pick up a camera after reading these? Us too! Come,  join us.
 
Team CLIMB is looking for talented and self-motivated film-makers who wish to a make positive difference and help others with their dreams. We promise you that you would be surrounded with young and bright people who will always support your goals and endeavors!


To learn more, please send a mail to info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com
If you are a survivor and want to share your story, please send it to us 
here

CLIMB Newsletter, December 2015

​​













​About Us

We are a global non profit organization committed to breaking the silence on sexual violence and creating a powerful movement of change. We are continuously expanding with our current presence in 11 countries across 4 continents. Our team of 30 members serves the border-less world, spreading awareness, undoing the stigma, and challenging mindset. We believe in building a better society, which not only will inspire social citizens to celebrate a survivors' triumph with love and compassion but also will empower survivors to help others in their healing journey.
 
Did you know that in the US:

44% of victims are under 18.
Every 
107 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
Around 
4/5 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
Only 
one in three sexual assaults are reported to police.
98% of rapists will never spend a single day in jail.
Source: RAINN Network

WANT TO GET INVOLVED AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
 
We are looking for volunteers who are passionate about changing the world. In particular, we are searching for:
Film Makers
Social Media Managers
Website Designers

Please email info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com to learn more.


​Thank you for all your support! Stay tuned for our first survivor-video, which will be released in August.

Climbing in South Africa

CLIMB South Africa participated in the biggest walk of the country "WALK THE TALK" on July 22, 2015 to spread awareness on breaking the silence on sexual violence. The event is held annually and has more than 50000 participants. 

Additionally, our South African team is planning two hiking expeditions with survivors in August.
Drakensberg-Maluti Mountains on 14-16.08.2015 (3 days)
Magaliesberg for a day hike on 22.08.2015. 


We also have an educational outreach planned for the communities closer to the mountain on sexual abuse. If you are interested in joining us, please write to us at casa.international@climbagainstsexualabuse.com.

CLIMB

against sexual abuse

Back to our roots- OYW in Bangkok


 Our CLIMB journey started during last year's One Young World in Dublin, where we formulated the vision of what would today become a far-reaching organisation.

This year, our South African Chapter Head Florence Masetla was selected to be one of the delegates of OYW in Bangkok. It felt like going back to the roots for Florence, who was wearing the hat of the CLIMB ambassador throughout the summit. All the moving stories on sexual abuse that were raised at the summit reaffirmed our position on the urgency of this social issue.
One of the high-lights was the Human Rights Planery session, where 19 years old Kamolnan Chearavanont, co-founder of the NGO Voices, narrated the story of Sunshine, a stateless woman who was trafficked, raped and abused.

Florence was honoured to be interviewed for the first OYW Bangkok Summit Podcast.
Excitement about CLIMB's impact was evident, and there were multiple opportunities with global organisations that were sourced- stay tuned for more updates in our next month's newsletter.

​​Learning from history- Comfort Women in Japan

More than 200,000 Chinese women were abducted by the armed forced of Imperial Japan between 1930 and 1945. Known as "Comfort Women", they endured unspoken violence and were deprived of their basic human rights.

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the 2nd Sino-Japenese War and World War II. But still the Japanese Government has not fully acknowledged the crimes against these women, the brutal kidnapping and rape by Japanese soldiers.

The Comfort Women suffered the ultimate humiliation by becoming sex slaves, but their suffering unfortunately did not end in 1945. They were mistreated by the Chinese society, and especially during the Cultural Revolution many of them suffered at the hands of their own countrymen- with their property being confiscated and themselves being publicly discriminated against as 
“Japanese collaborators.”


Today, only a few known Comfort Women are still in life, and struggle to sustain themselves, as they receive no or minimal support from the Central Government.

It's in our hands to ensure that there will be no more Comfort Women in this world- join forces with us in making this world a better place! 

Sources and image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women , thenanfang.com.

​​                                                                                          Partnering for women's rights


We are proud to announce our new exciting partnership with Prêt-à-Métier, a successful fashion, interviews & events knowledge sharing platform. We are sharing the passion of raising awareness for important causes that affect women in the modern world. In CLIMB we are constantly trying to expand our partners base and maximise the impact we collectively have on society, scaling up our global reach.
To read more about our partnership with Prêt-à-Métier click here and share with your social circles.

Want to make a difference? 

Are you passionate about shooting the stories of individuals or organizations doing good for the world and sharing their stories in hopes of leaving positive footprints? Do you know what it takes to build amazing stories – giving your heart, time, and talent? Do you want to shoot stories that matter? Do you agree that there is a community out there that believes what you believe? Do you believe in making films with love, hope, and sense of accomplishment in return? Do you believe that the survivors of sexual abuse have life-altering stories, with patience and preparation you can find them and fill them? Inspired to pick up a camera after reading these? Us too! Come,  join us.
 
Team CLIMB is looking for talented and self-motivated film-makers who wish to a make positive difference and help others with their dreams. We promise you that you would be surrounded with young and bright people who will always support your goals and endeavors!

To learn more, please send a mail to info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com
If you are a survivor and want to share your story, please send it to us here

                                                                              Rape waves plaguing Fundong, Cameroon


 Fundong, Cameroon, was so far known among the locals as a place where the rights of women and girls were typically abused. During the past weeks, a new phenomenon is in the rise: rape cases. A number of local men have developed instinctive attitude to transform women and girls into sexual games. The last case is that of this man of 41 years old who last week abusively raped a girl child of 9 years, pupil of a local primary school in Fundong Town. The alleged rapist on Sunday 18th towards the evening hours entered the eatery where the girl was giving a helping hand to the mother. He ordered for some corn shaft and, after eating, he called on the child to come and collect her money. Once she was there, he asked her to remove her pant what she refused to do. He then forced her, removed her pant and introduced his manhood into the tinny flesh of the child. At the end, he left the girl with wounds and muscle pains while warning her not to say anything to anyone. The incident was facilitated with the absence of electricity due to power failure. Two day after, the mother of the child could not withstand the odour coming from the girl body. She took her daughter into the room before discovering the deplorable situation of her private part. Rushed to the hospital, the Doctor on sit examined the girl and wrote on the medico-legal certificate as follows:”introitus widely open with purulent discharges, diagnosis of vaginitis and secondary syphilis. All findings are consistent with introitus penetration”. A charge was filed at the State Counsel Chamber against the perpetrator. He was arrested and detained awaiting judgment- he is claiming his innocence saying that the girl is just trying to tarnish his image. As we were still investigating on this case, report came from Fujua Neighborhood saying that a man aged between 35 and 40 has attempted to rape a young woman in her early 20. Thank to our vigilance and prompt reaction, both the perpetrators were caught and detained awaiting trial.

Our newest partner- Pixel Project

RAINN reports that 4/5 rapes were committed by someone known to the victim. It is often forgotten that rape and sexual abuse are often the most harmful form of domestic violence. It is for this reason that we have decided at CLIMB to partner with the Pixel Project. In addition to the Inspirational Interview that you can find in two parts here and here, CLIMB has also supported the 'People and Pets say NO' campaign by encouraging our members and followers to submit their pictures too. Not only are pets often victims of domestic violence but they are also the prime reason why a woman struggles to leave an abusive home, refusing to leave them behind. CLIMB is proud to support sister initiatives and campaigns because it is only when we join hands that we will be able to put an end to rape, sexual abuse as well as domestic violence.

What I have found while trying to reach out for people to join the Climb Against Sexual Abuse movement in Aotearoa, is that, as a society, we seem to pull the wool over our own eyes to things that can be confronting; we simply do not want to talk about it. This was a sad realization as I am a genuine believer that Aotearoa New Zealand is often a world leader with social progress, but it seems we have come to a screeching halt when it comes to sexual abuse and rape.
 
There seems to be a strong mentality that unless people can provide physical evidence on the spot that they must be lying. Therefore, the much-needed support for these victims is then passed straight onto their attackers who have been slandered. This way of thinking makes victims think twice about coming forward and is often a justification to relinquish the power of their voice.This. Is. Not. Okay.
 
When I first started writing this article I thought it would be, a focus on how we, as a small island nation in the middle of an ocean, are making a change in the world. Sadly that is just not the case; through educating myself I have discovered my own ignorance and that has lit a fire in my stomach. It should make all of us angry! As a Kiwi the last thing we want to be known as is ignorant. So, why are we standing idly by while we have our most vulnerable being traumatized at an alarming rate? We need to make a stand against sexual assault and shift the focus from victim blaming and shaming to helping those in need! Why do we need to do this? Because even the United Nations has addressed the issue as severe, in fact we are considered the worst nation in the OECD when it comes to sexual abuse rates. That alone should make you uncomfortable enough to want to shift the status quo of silence.
 
When somebody is raped they lose more than people think; they lose their sense of safety, sense of freedom, the right to feel comfortable in their skin and often their own self respect. Sexual abuse and rape becomes an epidemic when more than one in seven people in Aotearoa are affected so why is no one talking about it? It is our duty as human beings to let them know it is not their fault and that we support them and will continue to stand by them.

David Adams, N.Zealand Chapter Head

Setting up the foundations for a globally scalable NGO


 We are thrilled to share the news that we've received our EIN(Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last month! 
This is the first step in the registration process and we still have a long way to go. However, we would like to congratulate the involved members on this accomplishment towards making CLIMB a 501c3 registered organization. 
This registration will help provide a better and more transparent structure, and scale up to fulfil our mission of empowering survivors of sexual violence while creating awareness in the society. 

CLIMB Newsletter, April 2016

CLIMB Newsletter, September 2015

                                                                             Fundraising towards Kilimanjaro 
KIZOMBA for a cause in London
Climb UK successfully launched their first fundraising event on April 9th: KIZOMBA for a cause. It was a great night of learning, debating and of course, dancing. Kizomba is an Angolan tango which has become more and more popular in the western world and all over the planet in the last year. 120 people came to support CLIMB and dance the night away!
 
The night started with dancing workshops for both beginners and experienced dancers, followed by a 'Coffee Lounge' debate on the sensuality and popularity of the dance, where myths of sexual Kizomba were shattered. The night ended with a 5 hours party until the early hours of the morning.
 
Instructors, debate facilitator and panelists as well as DJs and photographers supported CLIMB against sexual abuse with their skills and with the amazing crowd attending, making this event highly successful and special for all!If you want to find out more, you can check our facebook page here.

CLIMB Newsletter, June 2015

                                                                                               ​​Fundraising

Charity workshop in NYC
On March 25th,2016, shortly after its one year anniversary, CLIMB teamed up with
dance trio Dance Drama Dramatics (DDD) to organize its first fundraiser in New York City! 
 
The group of 30 attendees, under the tutelage of Aparna, Aditya and Anusha, swung
their hips and leaped into the air dancing to today's' hit Bollywood songs! The two hour workshop resulted in the group doing 2 dance routines. Check this link to see how the DDD trio's commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication resulted in a very coordinated and  sequenced group! Knock Knock, is that Bollywood knocking on the door?
 
At the end of the workshop, CLIMB's Poonam and Abhilasha explained CLIMB's cause by showing the 3MinuteStories video and explaining to the group how they could do their part in taking the stigma away from sexual violence, being a great support system to victims around them and continuing to support CLIMB. 
 
UK
The UK chapter has organised "Kizomba for a cause", an event combining the fundraising purpose with the ultimate fun of Kizomba. 
Following the dancing workshop, a coffee lounge will be thrown, alongside a debate on the world of Kizomba.
And the night will close with a big party under the sounds of DJ Delahoy and DJ Mineiro.
All proceeds from the event will go towards the Kilimanjaro trip.

South African

Florence Masetla, South African Chspter Head, trekked the harsh yet beautiful Tankwa Camino known as the great trek in the Karoo South Africa, covering a distance of about  244 km in 9 days from 25 March 2016 to 2 April 2016. You can support our cause by donating any amount from $1 or R17 for every km Florence has trekked on this link.

These are the first events, the first of many to come, and we are truly honoured to have everyone working towards this cause!


















                                                        Did I blame the victim or did I simply comfort myself?


“Why did she not scream?” “We all know that this place is not safe!” “But she looked very seductive!”

These statements, suggesting that a victim is to be blamed, are commonly used in conversations about women who experienced sexual abuse and I believe they actually reflect the first, automatic reaction of most people. But what do they actually tell us? I believe they say more about their sender than the women who have been victimized – and we will only stop to blame the victim if we completely identify the reasons for such statements.

I chose to refer to a woman, because I believe it is even more common to blame female victims - not because I am not aware that men are also victims of sexual abuse and rape, but people hardly ever speak about male victims anyway. Speaking about sexual abuse in such a way aggravates the pain of a person who has been victimized: A sexual assault is one traumatic incident. Being blamed for becoming a victim is a form of second traumatisation that can become a life narrative and often feels like a dark cloud over one’s head, full of guilt, self-blame and shame. I will never forget one of my clients who consulted me for rape counselling. We only spoke about her feelings of guilt and shame and not the rape itself  but she felt much better and told me that she just needed to realize that all the bad things people say about her are not true. This story gives you some insight how much pain it can cause when we blame a person for being victimized.

But if they can cause such indescribable pain - why are such sentences still alive? Maybe you also agree that such statements are valid because women are not supposed to go to a party and provoke a man’s attention with their appearance. However, this can’t explain our tendency to blame a victim because nearly all women and girls I have worked with faced such stereotypes - even a 15-year old that did nothing wrong, except for walking to school. Surely this example shows that our tendencies to hold victims accountable are not always rational.

But then why would people hold on to such irrational and harmful opinions? I believe they have a good reason: They conceal all negative feelings that grow inside us when we hear about another sexual assault. We will be angry that an innocent person has been victimized. This would contradict what psychologist call a profound “belief in a just world” - people want to believe that the world is a fair place and bad things only happen to bad people. How can we restore our faith that we live in a fair world? We will also feel incredibly insecure to learn that there is actually an ever present threat around us. It is horrific to admit that anyone of us could become a victim and we can’t fully protect ourselves. How do we silence this fear and restore a sense of personal safety?

There seems to be one simply way to escape these feelings of anger, insecurity and fear: If the victim made a mistake, was reckless or provoked the sexual assault, it can’t happen to me or my closest friends and family members. This means that blaming the victim is an effective way to restore comfort in our lives. I experienced exactly that when my friend told me that she was hijacked and raped at a place that I passed nearly every day at the safest time during the day. I should have admitted that I could have been in her place. However, I could not bear the feelings of anger, insecurity and fear rising up and started to blame her for what happened instead. “It must have been her fault because clearly, this can’t happen to me!”. Thoughts like:  “Why did she not scream?” “We all know that this place is not safe!” “But she looked very seductive!” might cause pain on her side but for me such sentences ensured that I could feel comfortable and safe again.

But should we cope with our own painful emotions by making the victim even more miserable? We will have to find other ways to feel comfortable again and admit that our lives are full of insecurities. However, there can still  be a way to create a  fairer, safer and ultimately a better world: We should start supporting each other and try by all means to treat other people fair and make them feel safe. The first step to achieve this should be that we stop blaming victims and hold perpetrators accountable!

Juliane Hoss, One Young World Ambassador, Founder of Bridging Gaps e.V.


                                                         














                                                                 CLIMB's in mobile journalism awards


We are proud to announce that Yusuf Omar, journalist at eNCA, who captured our first-ever climb and chose this as his first entry to the European Mobile Journalism Competition, was awarded the 2016 prize!
Congratulations to Yusuf and the South Africa chapter, who utilised the most modern coverage methods to bring CLIMB's message out in the world. 

Click here if you want to re-visit the inspirational video which formed part of the successful submission.


                                                                                    Call for applications
Our South African local partners TEARS Foundation in collaboration with AVON will be making a Public Service Announcement called "I WAS" that will be flighted on SABC in June 2016.

We’re seeking survivors of sexual abuse to take part. This campaign is aimed at raising awareness of rape and sexual violence in SA and focusses on the importance of getting help.

If you can participate, please let us know soonest as we will be short listing in the next few weeks and filming on the 27th of April in Johannesburg.  








The journey of founding and growing CLIMB
It’s been a year since Shada and I started our journey with CLIMB at the One Young World conference in Dublin. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came together to support and create something that has got a life of its own and is growing so rapidly. Over the last one year, it’s been extremely hard for all of us as we realized how prevalent the issue of sexual violence really is across gender, region and other boundaries. Personally, it has been especially heartbreaking to know how many of my close ones have experienced it and have decided to remain silent, for fear that our society will not accept them. Silence is a plague and the only way we can work towards resolving this issue is by acknowledging that we have a problem, by accepting the survivors and by talking about this issue more often than we currently do. At CLIMB, we want to create a world where survivors can speak  freely about any type of violence, where we have zero tolerance towards abuse of both women AND men, and where we as a society have overcome the taboo, fear and shame associated with sexual violence. This is the world we at CLIMB imagine and work towards. 

Sexual abuse: the unseen side of European refugee crisis

In an official report earlier this year, Amnesty International

concluded that female refugees have to deal with physical

harassment and sexual assault during their journey through

Europe.Especially women and girls travelling alone and

those accompanied only by their children find themselves

under immense threat in transit camps- in most cases, they

have to sleep alongside hundreds of refugee men.

Hala, a 23-year-old woman from Aleppo, Syria, told Amnesty

International: “At the hotel in Turkey, one of the men

working with the smuggler, a Syrian man, said if I sleep with

him, I will not pay or pay less. Of course I said no, it was

disgusting. The same happened in Jordan to all of us.My

friend who came with me from Syria ran out of money in

Turkey, so the smuggler’s assistant offered her to have sex

with him [in exchange for a place on a boat]; she of course said no, and couldn’t leave Turkey, so she’s staying there.”

The situation is even worse for unaccompanied children, with 30,000  now in Europe. Latest reports claim that least 10,000 of them have disappeared in the hands of traffickers, and some of them have been sexually exploited, as the leader of the Liberal Democrat political party in the UK recently highlighted.
 
On the positive side, this acute issue has prompted the German government to make 200m euros available to tackle sexual abuse at refugee centres. These funds will be utilised for municipal authorities to remodel refugee camps, with ring-fenced  spaces for women and children.
Junior minister Ralf Kleindiek said: "Not only measures regarding staff, but also structural measures have to be implemented such as lockable accommodation units and separate sanitary facilities. For the children and adolescents we also need designated rooms to enable play and learning." 


CLIMB Nigeria kicks-off with “Rape is Real”














Thursday, 28th April 2016 was a terrific day for CLIMB Nigeria as they gathered for a seminar to set the train off on a journey to climb against sexual abuse. The focus was to tear the veil of ignorance off the minds of people that beclouded the reality of rape in their society. Though people have heard about rape and are still hearing about it; the shocking fact is that most of them refused to believe that it’s real, some others found rape stories too ridiculous to be true.

The seminar was well attended by members, youths from tertiary institutions and associate members of the group with some invited friends. The coordinator and the Chapter Head - Funke Olu-Jordan gave the introductory lecture and talked about the vision. She also shared a video clip of a recent sexual abuse case where a proprietor of a nursery and primary school molested a four year old girl. This video clip revealed the brutality of rape. The aim of sharing the video clip was to create awareness. It generated a lot of contributory comments from the audience and concomitantly set a receptive platform for the talk of the day – RAPE IS REAL.

Some of the facts that were revealed at the seminar include the current trend of rape and attempted rape cases in Nigeria which though, at present has no reliable statistical figure since most cases were not reported to the appropriate agency for the fear of stigmatization but are found to be on an alarming rate. Another trend that is prevalent in Oyo state now is the sexual abuse of individuals with physical challenges especially the blind, deaf or dumb, and down-syndrome.

A call to break the silence on RAPE and other forms of abuse was encouraged and emphasized.CLIMB Nigeria promised to embark on massive awareness programme in schools, religious organisations and the general public to break the silence and encourage survivors to speak out.


Want to make a difference? 

Come, join us!! Team CLIMB is looking for talented and self-motivated Individuals who are passionate about this cause to make a positive difference and help survivors in their healing journey. We promise you that you would be surrounded with young, bright leaders who will always support your goals and endeavors!

 To learn more, please send a mail to info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com
If you are a survivor and want to share your story, please send it to us here

CLIMB Newsletter, February 2015

Story of the month- Nafisah Sumani, Ghana

 

I was 16 years old when I made my first male friend. 
It was a couple of years ago, when I was preparing for my final exam for Junior High School and used to invite him to join me so that we could learn together and so he could assist me in Mathematics. 
One Sunday I went to his house because he still needed to get ready before we could go study. All of his room-mates had gone to church and he was the only one there. I told him I was on my way to study and I had come to see if we could walk together as we often did. This time, he wasn’t as prepared as usual. He let me in and invited me to come and wait in the room while he took a bath. I could see he wasn’t ready for studying this time but he insisted that we skip group studies in the school nearby and spend the afternoon together in the room so that we could focus better.
We sat on his chair with some music on in the background. I was wearing a pink sundress with a sweater. He started touching me in un-offensive ways like caressing my hands and legs. I thought he was being friendly.  He then decided to lay next to me on the chair and I didn’t think anything of it. We had already agreed that our friendship was in no way romantic and had even used examples saying that giving pegs and hugging was ok but that no touching of private areas could happen. As we were laying down working some questions on fractions, he started to get closer and closer until I started feeling uncomfortable. But I did not want to embarrass him so kept quiet. Then all of a sudden, he said he was tired and asked me to continue working on the question. He knew how lazy I could be with mathematics especially when instead of closely monitoring me, he let me work on a problem alone.
Soon enough, I started feeling sleepy too and started dozing. I later on noticed he was trying to put his hand up my skirt and I kept telling him no, moving his hand away. He was very aware of the boundaries I had set before; I  laid them out very clearly again. But no matter how much I repeated them, he wasn’t listening on that day and kept on testing my limits. He was different. He was far more aggressive than usual and I was having a hard time keeping his hands where I was comfortable. I finally got up and told him that I was leaving. He then apologized and promised to be good. I believed him. After I laid back down with him and started working on the question he gave me, he tried again. He was being aggressive again but this time was different. The previous times, I could move his hands away but this time he wouldn’t let me. He put his hand on my breast and when I tried to move it he didn’t budge. I remember h im pulling my skirt up and thinking “How do I make this stop?” I started crying. I couldn’t speak I just pulled my knees toward my chest and tried to hold my legs together. In this position he was able to pull my panties off and then he entered me. I cried from pain. After two or three thrusts he pulled out and I saw the blood of my hymen on his penis. Seeing that, I just gave up. I thought “I’m not a virgin anymore what am I fighting for?” I just let him finish. I was so ashamed. All of my friends at the time were saving themselves for marriage and so was I and now it was all gone. The whole incident played over and over again in my mind and the only thing I thought was that I did not fight enough. I pulled my legs up and he must have thought it was an invitation. It was all my fault. After that I lost all sense of self-worth. He started hitting me and calling me names and controlling my life and I just let him. I remember him saying things like “If you’d just relax and stop fighting it wouldn’t hurt so much” when he was forcing himself on me. I still blame myself and haven’t told anyone my story before now. But I had to get it out there. I don’t know what Mr Abass said to me that really inspired me to start sharing this story I have keep for over two years. But I just told myself that if this story lived inside me for any longer it was going to destroy me from the within.

I thank Mr Abass and the CLIMB team for coming to our school and involving us, I am now free of guilt and following the counseling he and the team has given to me, I want to join them and make sure that girls out there are able to open up, speak up and share their stories. I know there are thousands of girls like me out there who are keeping this to themselves and letting it destroy them slowly but surely. Sexual abuse is something that a girl must not go through, is a terrible experience, but today I am confident that you can be healed, that you can still make it through.All the thoughts of suicide, taking drugs to forget about the experiences and being trapped in the anxiety can all go away when you speak out.

Girls, let's raise awareness about sexual abuse to prevent thousands of others from abuse! 

​Inspiring the blog-sphere


CLIMB's inspirational interview by CLIMB Board member and head of UK Chapter Lara Tabet was selected among the 16 best interviews of 2015 as part of The Pixel Project annual "16 For 16" blogging campaign. This campaign is in support of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
The interview touches on the aims of CLIMB, the way we work, the challenges we face and the reason we chose climbing as a symbol for overcoming sexual abuse. 

Through inspiration, awareness and partnership, CLIMB is hoping to break the silence on sexual violence one step at a time. “After a trauma, physical self-care is as important as and drastically linked to emotional self-care, and even more so when the trauma is a physical one. Carrying out activities, such as climbing, that would make one regain energy is a good way to feel healthy and in control. From another perspective, physical activity is the best known way to release the feelings of anger and hate that eat at you after being sexually assaulted.”

A full read of CLIMB's interview and all 16 inspirational interviews of 2016 can be found here.

About Us

We are a global non profit organization committed to breaking the silence on sexual violence and creating a powerful movement of change. We are continuously expanding with our current presence in 12 countries across 4 continents. Our team of 30 members serves the border-less world, spreading awareness, undoing the stigma, and challenging mindset. We believe in building a better society, which not only will inspire social citizens to celebrate a survivors' triumph with love and compassion but also will empower survivors to help others in their healing journey.

Our achievements were recognized by One Young World recently and our founder Poonam Thimmaiah and Shada Abuhattoum were branded the Ambassadors of the week.

Additionally, our UK chapter head Lara Tabet was featured on the eNewsletter of Pixel Project: It's time to stop violence against women. Together. Read her inspirational interview on who we are, how we work, and how we aim to make a difference: Part 1 Part 2

Did you know that:

5000 women are killed each year in the name of honor killing as per UN reports.

Estimated
20,000 women are killed each year to uphold their family's honor and the cases go unreported.

Honor violence has been reported in
Canada, Great Britain, United States, Sweden, Germany, France, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Gaza, West Bank, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.
Source: UN, http://www.honordiaries.com/

WANT TO GET INVOLVED AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE? 

We are looking for volunteers who are passionate about changing the world. In particular, we are searching for:
People who want to make a difference
Film Makers
Website Designers
Mountain Climbers/Hikers


To learn more, please send a mail to info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com

Want to make a difference? 

Are you passionate about shooting the stories of individuals or organizations doing good for the world and sharing their stories in hopes of leaving positive footprints? Do you know what it takes to build amazing stories – giving your heart, time, and talent? Do you want to shoot stories that matter? Do you agree that there is a community out there that believes what you believe? Do you believe in making films with love, hope, and sense of accomplishment in return? Do you believe that the survivors of sexual abuse have life-altering stories, with patience and preparation you can find them and fill them? Inspired to pick up a camera after reading these? Us too! Come,  join us.
 
Team CLIMB is looking for talented and self-motivated film-makers who wish to a make positive difference and help others with their dreams. We promise you that you would be surrounded with young and bright people who will always support your goals and endeavors!

To learn more, please send a mail to info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com
If you are a survivor and want to share your story, please send it to us here

CLIMB Newsletter, January 2015

Our international CLIMB team wishes you all an amazing 2016, full with love,affection and happiness

CLIMB Newsletter, March 2016