And Life Goes On

The random bloggings on what gets my goat!

Archive for the month “September, 2011”

Bring The ABSU 5 Who Gang-Raped Woman in Nigeria to Justice

There’s a desperate search on for a female university student in Nigeria. Some want to silence her. Others want to protect her.

On August 16, the unidentified woman was gang-raped by five male students at Abia State University — for hours, as she begged first for mercy, and then for her rapists to kill her because of the pain. And it’s all on video.

Change.org member Adetomi Aladekomo has joined bloggers and activists working to bring the victim to safety and her rapists to justice by starting a petition to Abia State University (ABSU) and state officials.

Over the past two weeks, bloggers and individuals around the world have put up reward money and used video imaging software to try to identify the victim and the rapists — when the police should have been doing this all along. Unbelievably, state authorities have so far stymied efforts, preferring to deny the rape ever even happened under their watch. Local women’s groups fear that they’re even out to silence the victim, perpetuating a culture of fear and shame around rape in Nigeria, where such crimes are dramatically under-reported and under-prosecuted.

Adetomi, who grew up in Nigeria until she was seventeen, knows that international outcry around the gang rape at ABSU will be decisive in protecting the victim and bringing justice. With the whole world watching, the victim may have the courage to come forward and press charges — and other women who’ve been raped may come forward, too, when they previously would not have.

In fact, it was because of Change.org members and international outcry earlier this year that a woman who had created a Change.org petition from inside a Cape Town safe house was able to come out and seek justice for her partner, who had been gang-raped and killed to ‘cure’ her of being a lesbian.

I just signed the petition “Bring The ABSU 5 Who Gang-Raped Woman in Nigeria to Justice” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 100,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/bring-the-absu-5-who-gang-raped-woman-in-nigeria-to-justice

Thanks!
Hayley

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My First Short Story Competition – Glutton for Punishment

Last week I entered my first short story competition. Are you bloody mad? I ask myself. Well maybe seeing as how I have never written one before, but I never do things in half measures, so I jumped in all guns blazing, so to speak!

I stumbled upon this in a Twitter chat room on Sunday night, #Writechat, Emily Suess the organiser of this great competition mentioned it there and I wanted to give it a go.

 We were given 50 writing prompts on the Monday morning and we were to hand in our finished piece by Friday at midnight, the writing prompts can be found here http://blog.emilysuess.com/2011/09/12/writers-week-writing-contest/. You can also read the 50+ entries that were submitted. This was a great first time exercise for me, I don’t expect to win, but I found the exercise a great learning experience and I intend to have a go at a few more of the prompts in order to polish my craft.

So thanks Emily, I will definately be doing this again next year.

The Three Musketeers – Writers Week Official Entry 2011

Oh. My. God. I wasn’t going to say anything, but you have left me with no choice. You walk around with your head in the air looking down at the rest of us when it is your life that is the farce!

 

We have known each other for years since our group were all in school together back in the day when we all had our whole lives ahead; the three of us were like The Three Musketeers, Reece, Rhea and me, Sienna. We thought we could do anything and for a time there at school that is just what we did, we had no cares, no worries; we did what we wanted and when we wanted to.

 

But whereby we all realised that we could not go on like that, you have carried on believing that the world owes you a favour and that you can do what you want, whenever you want.

 

All three of us are now grown up; Rhea has a flourishing career as a Facilities Director for a large International Advertising Agency, no children, but she travels all over the world living a very glamorous life that we are all more than a bit jealous about.

 

I am a full time Mum with a fantastic husband and lovely children, I have given up work in order to look after them and that suits me fine, people often make comments on what good children they are and that makes everything worthwhile.

 

Reece lives the life, I can tell you. She has a massive house that would not look out of place on the pages of Hello Magazine. Her husband is a trader and is earning upwards of £10,000 a month and that is without the bonuses he accrues.

 

***

 

We are having our usual monthly get together tonight; it is dinner at Reece’s house this evening which no doubt will be the usual lavish affair. Reece really pushes the boat out when it is her turn to host, private caterers are called in, you get the gist?

 

What the hell am I going to wear? I am standing in front of my wardrobe and it is boring the hell out of me, so God knows what Reece and Sienna will think about it.

 

An hour later and my wardrobe is now either scattered all over the floor or the bed, I could scream!

 

“Get yourself together Sienna” I tell myself as I settle for a pair of skinny jeans, a nice sparkly top, this partnered with a pair of sexy high sandals should do the trick, sexy, but it looks like I haven’t really put that much thought into it, yeah right!!!

 

I sit on the edge of the bed, looking around the room, picking up the clothes that I have just thrown all over. Yes, Reece has everything, but she is not happy, her husband Riley is never at home, he is always at work, entertaining clients or the other women in his life. Oh yes, although Reece never admits to it but everyone knows.

 

***

 

“Right I’m off Tony, have a good night”

 

“You too love, you wont be late will you?”

 

“Not if I can help it!” giving Tony a kiss before I head out of the door. He is such a good husband and father, I may not have the money that the other two have but are they happy? Smiling to myself, I get into the taxi that is outside waiting for me.

 

As the taxi pulls up the long drive that leads up to Reece’s house, I look up at the house that is all lit up like a Christmas tree. Eight bedrooms, all en suite, what they need all those bedrooms for, who knows?

 

The gardens are tended to by their live-in gardener, they are glorious, and now whilst dark I can hear the crickets coming into their own as they realise their time is now and they are not likely to be disturbed. The only other sound I can hear is the distant trickle of water from the water feature that lies in the middle of the garden, I can just about fit in a pool for the kids to have a splash about in the Summer, how the other half live!

 

“Sienna, there you are, we thought we heard a car pull up, what are you doing standing there gazing into the distance?”

 

“Just admiring your garden, you are so lucky, such a beautiful house”

 

“You do this every time you come here, it is not as if you have never been here before” Reece barks back. No, I think, I have been here before, numerous times, but you don’t appreciate it and that is what gets me.

 

As we enter the house, I can see Rhea has already arrived in the kitchen at the end of the vast entrance hall.

 

“Champagne okay darling?”

 

“That would be lovely, thank you” I reply, when really I am thinking a vodka and coke would suffice.

 

“Evening Rhea, how are you? How is work?”

 

“All great thanks sweetie, it is lovely to see you. How are Tony and the kids?”

 

“All good, all good”

Reece is running around like a headless chicken as we sit down at the table that she has even placed name cards on, even though it is only the three of us tonight.

 

Dinner was exquisite as usual, and whilst we are eating the cheese course, we are all rather merry as a few bottles ofChampagnehas now passed our lips.

 

“Anyone for coffee?” Reece asks

 

“No, more Champers!” Rhea drunkenly shouts.

 

Reece comes back to the table with another three bottles of Champagne, my head is going to be banging in the morning on the school run, but we don’t really get to be together often and Tony said that he would do the school run, he is such a love, all my friends tell me what a great guy Tony is, and believe me, he is I am a very lucky girl and I know it.

 

The night was getting messy and we had all taken to dancing around the room screaming into our hairbrushes

 

“…… and push it real good…….. Reece was now doing her usual drunken rendition of the Salt and Pepa classic, she sounded terrible but she was convinced that she was the mighty Salt herself, my face aches from laughing, these nights are great, we all have so much fun and we have been doing this once a month from as far back as I remember.

 

***

 

“So Sienna, how are things with the girls and Tony?” asks Rhea as we have crashed onto the sofas all fairly inebriated and more than ready to call it a night. Rhea and I were just waiting for our cabs to arrive.

 

“Great thanks Rhea, and you, all okay with you?”

 

“Yeah great thanks, I have been so busy at work I have not really done much else”.

 

“Riley is having another affair” Reece blurts out, neither of us had noticed that she was quietly crying by herself on the other sofa.

 

Rhea and I both ran over and sat at either side of her.

 

“What makes you say that?” Rhea asks.

 

“I just know, come on, it won’t be the first or I doubt the last” Reece sobbed.

 

“Oh honey I am so sorry, how long has it been going on? Are you sure he is having an affair and not just busy at work as he usually is?” I asked.

 

“I know the signs hon, he is, this one just seems to be different, I have watched him over the years having numerous affairs, I just accepted it, and he always came back to me. But this time, it seems different, I think this time he has found someone he really likes, he is distant with me and we haven’t made love in months” Reece was sobbing by now, she was usually so strong, neither of us had ever seen her cry as far as I was aware .

 

“Oh darling, I am so sorry” Rhea comforted her.

 

I didn’t know what to say or do, seeing her in this vulnerable state had shaken me up a bit, she looked almost fragile with Rhea practically cradling Reece in her arms.

 

“Do you know who it is that he is having the affair with?

 

At that point, I noticed Riley standing in the doorway, Rhea and Reece both looked up at the same time.

 

“Are you going to tell her Sienna, or shall I?”

 

And with that, my life would never, ever be the same again.

writers' week

SUNDAY TIMES EFG AWARD 2012 NOW OPEN!

The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award is now open for entries for 2012.

£30,000 first prize! Up £5,000 from last year!

Stories may be previously unpublished, or first published/scheduled for publication after 1 January 2011.

All entries must be under 6,000 words and entirely original.

Closing date is 28th October.

This year you can also enter online.

Click here for details http://www.booktrust.org.uk/Prizes-and-awards/Sunday-Times-EFG-Private-Bank-Award

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