Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Prossy Can Stay!
News Source: Metropolitan Community Church, Manchester, UK
Prossy Kakooza is a 26-year-old woman seeking asylum in the UK. She fled Uganda after suffering vicious sexual, physical and verbal attacks due to her sexual orientation.
Prossy had been forced into an engagement when her family discovered her relationship with the girlfriend she met at university. Both women were marched two miles naked to the police station, where they were locked up.
Prossy’s inmates subjected her to gross acts of humiliation. She was violently raped by police officers who taunted her with derogatory comments like ‘’we’ll show you what you’re missing’’ and ‘’you’re only this way because you haven’t met a real man’’. She was also scalded on her thighs with hot meat skewers.
Prossy was eventually taken out of prison after her father bribed the guards. Her family had decided they would sacrifice her instead, believing this would ‘’take the curse away from the family’’.
Whilst her family were making arrangements to slaughter her, Prossy managed to flee to the United Kingdom to seek asylum.
When Prossy went for treatment to her local GP’s surgery in the UK they were so shocked by the extent of her injuries they called the police.
She was taken to the St. Mary’s Centre in Manchester, and she is still receiving counselling there for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Prossy was granted asylum in the UK on Friday 17th October, 15 long months and 3 court cases after first applying. She is now able to live, work, and study in the United Kingdom on the same basis as any UK National for the next 5 years. After this, she will be allowed to apply for permanent residence and then citizenship.
Prossy has been amazed at the level of support from people including:
* 5200 people from countries, and church congregations, from all over the world who have signed her petition to the Home Office asking that she be allowed to stay.
* 100s of people who have written or emailed the Immigration Minister.
* The 80 members and friends of MCC Manchester who have supported her with their love, prayers, money and concern.
* The 19 friends who went to court with her and helped her collect signatures on her petition at Pride festivals all over the country.
* The 10 friends who gave evidence in court on her behalf.
* The 3 amazing lawyers who drafted and prepared her cases (Ruth Heatley from the Immigration Aid Unit and barristers Mark Schwenk and Mel Plimmer)
But most of all the one person who has seen through this ordeal with quiet dignity, humour even in the darkest moments, and faith that all would be well - Prossy herself.
Dear friends: I get to stay!! Am still in shock, and am so sure it's going to take days to sink in. But I have not stopped smiling since 12:00pm today, and won't stop for a while.
I went with my friend Gwen and am so glad I did because when we left I was in a sort of daze! When this woman handed me the paper and said, "You have been granted leave to remain" my jaw nearly hit the floor. Always the pessimist, I thought this was where she told me "but the Home Office is appealing". So Iasked if they were and she said no they were not. I had a bit of a hooray shout when we got out - couldn't contain it.
You have held me together, you have held me upright when all I wanted to do was roll up in a heap and give up. You gave me the motivation to go on and fight! Going with me to places to collect signatures, encouraging people to sign online, coming to meetings, writing statements, going to court with me, and most importantly - all the prayers. And I don't think you have any idea how the phone calls, texts and emails help. They kept me sane.
There are no appropriate words I can use to say thank you. All I can do is pray to my God to bless you all. You have changed my life and for that I will forever be grateful. THANK YOU!
Lots and lots of love, hugs and kisses,
Here is a video of Prossy telling her own story.
Please join me in prayers of thanksgiving for Prossy's asylum and pray that she may yet be strengthened and supported to help get her girlfriend out of Uganda.
Pray for the Anglican Church in Uganda, that they may raise up strong leaders to speak a bold word of the truth of Christ's love for all God's children, and be led to stop the persecution and torture of LGBT people.