A woman should be a friend to a woman, not a wolf – Writer Nermina Latic-Cehic
After publishing three shocking and awakening books, another book “Strong and happy woman – because love is not red” saw the light of day by Nermina Latic-Cehic (31), the title of which arouses a storm of emotions. In just 11 months, Nermina published four works, out of a total of seven written. She revealed to us how her story began in 2009 at the Cantonal Hospital in Bihać and that she then wrote the first words of today’s books. Each book is a witness to one difficult life story.
She was born in Velika Kladusa and is the mother of two girls. In an interview with “Media”, she said that her greatest love is journalism and life coaching. Her written word has taken its place in many books, such as “Kladuske heroine”, “Putopis autora” and “Jedinoj ljubavi”. He attends various educations and seminars and plans to obtain a university degree.
In the last book, you write about violence against women. How did this book come about and was it inspired by some event you witnessed?
– I have often witnessed unpleasant events such as domestic violence. Very often it has happened to me to recognize a victim of violence only by those hidden glances, without a single spoken word. It is a special kind of women who see love in everything even in a smile, even though they convince them that they were not created for love, for dreams, for big things that are essentially small things. Through humanitarian work, I was often in contact with these women, which inspired me to combine my knowledge and their stories and answer the question to many: “Why doesn’t he report it, why does he suffer?”. To those from the periphery to show that there are institutions that take care of them. Safe houses are of great help to these women. I was only saddened that I had to charge the book to cover the printing costs, I wanted the victims of violence to get their copies. The Prime Minister of the Una-Sana Canton, Mustafa Ruznic, helped me there. The USC government and businessmen from Velika Kladusa provided free copies of books for all safe houses, as well as organizations that work to empower and encourage victims of violence. It was a big tornado in my back, knowing that they were not forgotten and that we were concerned with their four walls. Every book I write is a witness to a true story.
Why do women choose to stay in relationships where they are most brutally humiliated, both physically and mentally?
– Unfortunately, these women usually spent their childhood in an unhealthy environment, where they also suffered violence in their families. Their saving hand is very often their flame. They often leave in the hope that they will get better, it is rare that the violence has not continued. We don’t need to ask her why she doesn’t report him, you report him. Most women suffer violence for economic reasons, as many as 83 percent of them do not report violence, because 76 percent of them believe that they could not do it without the financial help of their spouses. Most of them are women with low education, come from rural areas, have poor property bases, and live in poverty. Statistics show that as many as 44 percent of our mothers and/or grandmothers (women over the age of 65) still suffer from domestic violence. Let us not treat violence as a tradition. We also wrote about it in the book, the letter “To you, my grandmother ”a girl who had been a victim of violence for twenty-something years by her father and husband. Today, thanks to Him, she is a happy and successful woman, even though she grabbed her child’s arms instead of a suitcase.
What is most important for a woman who is in the process of “healing”? How can she deal with herself and not return to the abuser?
– Only a healthy system and institutions can be a lifeline for a victim of violence who has nowhere to return. Namely, in the name of tradition, many doors are closed to their daughters or, if they receive them, the children do not have a bujrum, they are his. There you operate on the mother’s soul and cut her piece by piece. Because of the children, they return to the bullies. Violence continues and, unfortunately, is very often fatal for these women because 56 women of their spouses were killed in the past. Women who have the support of their family and the environment find it easier to recover.
What do you say to women who are in such a situation?
– I am, indeed, a great advocate of love, the sincere, pure, and noble ones. I don’t believe that love can be red, nor that there is unrequited love. If for love you have to be silent or lose your “I”, it is not love. The manipulator is playing with you. I want them to speak immediately at the first trampled word, an extinguished dream. We women are created from the ribs of stronger halves, meaning that among the seven billion people there is a part of us that will strive to make us happy every day, support our dreams and walk with us side by side.
You want to strengthen the position of women in society, do you think there is a shift? Are women becoming more self-aware?
– First of all, we have reached our families, relatives, neighborhoods, other cities in Bosnia, but also around the world. If we stopped just one hand of the bully or made the woman think, we succeeded, and believe us we did. Back in November 2020, with the publication of the book “SURVIVORS”, a project called “Woman for Woman” was launched, which is still alive today and there are more and more of us every day. People very often buy books to help single mothers, because every month we help these women or children without parents, the socially disadvantaged, but also the sick. Also, a large number of them spoke, but several victims of violence also left the marital union. I share the joy with them. I honestly will not stop at just this, but plans and preparations are being made for the Believe in yourself Association. Together with his colleague Jasmina Delic, a calligrapher, which is part of the written word in my two books, and Adnan Karalic, a manager, graphic designer, and talented Krajina photographer, we came to the conclusion that we need to expand our plans. We want to strengthen the steps of weak women and children and be their wind in the back. This is not just a problem of Velika Kladusa, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, but a global one. We want to find a solution in our community, but we are always open to cooperation and help to others.
Is “a woman a woman a wolf”?
– Unfortunately, women are very often the first to throw a stone or bite a hand, I do not want us to be wolves to each other but comrades. I do not condemn any woman or man, because every action has its own story. If someone has not experienced something, they cannot fully empathize, nor should they consider themselves competent to comment on other people’s decisions. I want every woman, to whom these “wolves” attack honor, decisions, and morals, to know that we women are by nature most similar to jaguars. Fearless and there is no predator we fear, nor a jungle in which we cannot survive.
How did your books come about?
– It is a difficult feeling when you visit a woman with a bruise while visiting socially endangered families, you ask what happened to her and she answers how the closet door hit her in the temple. It was a house where clothes were in empty banana containers. Neat and tidy home, cleaned and scrubbed with tears. Such stories stay in my throat for days, squeezing my soul and creating helplessness in me. Such stories live today on the stations of my books that are read all over the world. I’m just a voice echoing behind me.
Have women ever called you and shared a difficult story with you after reading one of your books?
– After the release of my first book “Walk to Hell”, they slowly began to dare to speak. Very often they call to congratulate and so the conversation begins. The moon, she and I, and the sea of tears until morning. Very often I post one of the stories on social networks and we have 16 stories ready for the days of activism.
Can and how many books can change someone’s life and be a trigger for change?
– By reading we can only become better people, first of all, we enrich our knowledge, we expand our horizons. I wrote every book with the reason that we don’t push problems under the rug, because they just pile up there, and we start falling on our way. We need to address and align our priorities in our lives. Let us not be ashamed and accept ourselves as we are. I dedicated every word, especially the last book and the book “Woman”, to every father, brother, relative, future and present husband, and to all women, daughters, mothers, and friends. I don’t like it when women are advised with the sentence “It will pass” – IT WILL NOT PASS IF YOU DON’T DO ANYTHING.
And finally, your message to all women who find themselves in situations that currently seem hopeless to them.
– We all got life for free, let’s not let it pass in vain. Dare to live and dream, because dreams are reality if you believe with your heart. A woman is not made for houses, pots, pots, and brooms. Don’t let tradition and customs impose on you, a woman has the right to work and be happy. If you have to fight for your rights, reconsider when and what you are fighting for. If they insult you, look not at the words but at their owner. Egoists and manipulators prevail and impose their needs. Sometimes you stop, collect your thoughts and it is enough to ask yourself the question “Why and for when?”. Let us not let life pass in vain, let old age ask us where our youth was. Our children grow up and go with their lives, let them fly from the nest with outstretched wings to a brighter future, but also to know that they always have a place to return to and that we will welcome them with outstretched wings. Allow sons to cry and show emotion, and daughters to show courage.