Powerful and moving stories from women and children fleeing from their own family, concerned Queen Sonja when she visited Oslo women’s shelter Tuesday.
After just a bit of caos in planning and preparing the past few weeks I am finally able to tell our little secret. The Crisis Center had a planned visit from the Norwegian Queen as a special gesture before Christmas. The children were so excited as we prepared and decorated, made a painting as a gift and baked lots and lots of gingerbread for her visit. (Foto: Bjørn Sigurdsøn)
The Queen explains it this way: “I came because I think it is important to see the various problems we struggle with in the community. This is violence of various sorts and we must see that it is stopped, “said a clearly affected queen after her visit to Oslo Crisis Center.
The Queen herself wished to visit the crisis center, which has nearly 50 residents approximately half of which are children, since it is now just before Christmas. She brought with her a basked with sweets for young and old alike. The Queen spoke at length ith two of the young women. A mother with four children and a young woman from Pakistan who was forced into an arranged marriage here in Norway.
“This visit has shown me that there are strong women, with a different background than our own, who have managed to escape their situation and which have faith in their own life, “said the Queen.
The young Pakistani woman, “Samina” lives in hiding for fear of being murdered after she ran away from her husbands family. She was forced marriage with a Norwegian-Pakistani man who did not want to marry her. After daily beating and an unsuccessful suicide attempt her only way out was to flee to the crisis center.
“I would never have believed that the Queen of Norway will cry for my sake. I told her my story and I cried. Then she wept, too. It was very beautiful,” said ”Samina” (all quotes taken from NTB)
We thank Her Royal Highness for visiting us, and would like to say that everyone this very pleased with the visit at a wonderful, and difficult time of the year for families in crisis.