Friday, August 26, 2016

Why do Sexual Assault Survivors Feel Shame? A Cartoon Sums it Up.

Almost every survivor of sexual assault or abuse will at one point think, "It was my fault." What many of us don't know is WHY survivors feel shame and guilt or why others around them might blame them instead of the perpetrator. The following cartoon breaks down the reasons why.

To all the survivors out there who are blaming themselves for what happened, here's the psychology behind why you might feel so guilty. I'm crossing my fingers that at least a couple of you will read this and finally feel some solace.

And for anyone who has ever asked, "Why didn't she run away?" or "Why didn't he scream?" — this one's for you, too.

This article was curled from Upworthy and created by Nina Burrowes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why Every Hour Matters for Post-Rape Care: The Story of Maureen Phiri

Photo above: Ambassador Catherine Russell and Maureen Phiri
“I was raped, got HIV from the rape, and when I tried to tell my family, they told me to shut my mouth.”
Those chilling words were spoken by 20-year-old Maureen Phiri from Lilongwe, Malawi. As one of the speakers at Together for Girls’ (TfG) “Every Hour Matters for Post-Rape Care” event, which was in collaboration with the World Health Organization at the United Nations Women’s Commission on the Status of Women in March, Phiri courageously spoke about her sexual assault at age 11 and her advocacy to end sexual violence in Malawi and beyond. Sitting alongside representatives from various governmental and UN agencies including Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare, the Honorable Patricia Kaliati and United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, Phiri told the audience that the man who assaulted her took advantage of her because her family was poor.
“Madame Minister [Kaliati], that man took advantage of me because my family was not well-doing”, she said, her voice breaking, as she was overcome with emotion.
“I was only 11 years old, Madame Minister, only 11,” Phiri said. “He would buy my family food, and I lived with him and his wife, but when she would leave, he raped and harassed me.”
“I kept it to myself, and did not tell anyone but then I was found living with HIV,” she said. “I did not get HIV anywhere else but through rape.”
After telling the audience the horrific details of her experience, Phiri was met with a standing ovation; her story moving many in the room to tears, with Minister Kaliati rising to hug Phiri in a comforting and emotional embrace.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What to Do After #Rape in Nigeria by Morenike Fajemisin (@Pharmacistreny)

Rape is one form of sexual assault and a terrible act that has defied understanding of the reasons of the rapist. It has also defied any of the ‘tips’ people give for helping future victims prevent it. Rape is when a person(s) has sex with an unwilling person. Sex should always be consensual, that is, it must happen between willing parties. Any sex with a person who struggles to escape you or lies there begging you to stop is Rape. Because most rape victims are women, I’d like to focus this article where the shoe pinches most. In most developed countries, there are (numerous) easily accessible Sexual Assault Referral Centers you can easily locate and run to for help but this is not the case in Nigeria. I hope to at least guide you through 3 steps that can help you avoid some physical scars so you can move on and be a survivor.

I am yet to hear if a rapist who used a condom and while there are just as many emotional and psychological scars as there are physical scars after rape, here are three DIY steps after rape.

Monday, June 27, 2016

#OpeEd: Let’s talk about Rape by Joel Oseiga Aleburu; @JoelOseiga.

I woke up planning to write about my weekend trip to Abuja and about how the sole of my shoe removed at a park in the middle of town only to see a tweet by an on air personality blaming rape on indecent dressing on the part of the ladies. I am just mad right now! So why not let’s discuss RAPE! The truth about RAPE is you never know how delicate and sensitive the matter is until someone you love experiences it. The story of the girl that was gang raped by five boys in ABSU made news both nationally and internationally years ago. What was her offence? She insulted one of the boys. We live in a cruel world but the truth is the Nigerian society encourages rape!

You don’t go about blaming rape on a girl that dressed “indecently”! Come to think of it, decent dressing is relative! There is no world known standard for what dresses are decent! The issue shouldn’t be “them rape you! Watin you wear??” Most people who get raped end up wallowing in silence because of the stigmatization attached. Nobody wants to hear her side (Does she even have a side in the first place?) ! Let me share a story I read some time ago.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

#Op-Ed: Why the Fuss about Gender Equality? by Laz Ude Eze (@donlaz4u)

Seven years ago while on call duty at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, I had a female patient

referred from a general hospital on account of poor progress of labour. The labour had lasted for more

than 12 hours and we observed signs of obstruction on examination. The woman was weak and the

baby was in distress; a decision of assisted delivery through caesarian section was reached. After

counselling, the woman verbally agreed but the written consent was to be given by the husband. Yes,

you read me right – the husband. The man had a different opinion, his pastor had “prophesied that his

wife would deliver like a Hebrew woman”; so he declined consent. He later bowed to pressure after

hours of marathon counselling and signed the consent form. The operation was successful, but the baby

had signs of brain damage. During post natal care, the woman had started leaking urine from her vagina

(known as vesico-vaginal fistula – VVF). She would have to go through another surgery to repair her

leaking bladder. The baby was at risk of having cerebral palsy which is usually associated with

suboptimal motor function and low intellectual capacity. This pathetic incident can only occur in a

society like ours where women are denied the right to make informed decisions on matters concerning

their body and their health. 

It is no longer news that a week after the celebration of International Women’s Day, the Nigerian Senate

rejected a proposed legislation that seeks to promote equal rights and opportunities for women. The

official title of the bill was “A bill for an Act to Incorporate and enforce certain provisions of the United

Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the

Protocol of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the rights of women in Africa, and

other matters connected therewith, 2016 (SB. 116)”. This decision of the Senate has received knocks

from well-meaning and informed Nigerians. Is it not ironic and hypocritical that the senate refused to

approve a bill drawn from international conventions which the country had signed and agreed to? Is it

not vexatious and insensitive that this happened while Nigerian women are discussing how to guarantee

rights and welfare of women globally at the ongoing meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of

Women in New York? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The 2016 International Women's Day by @MrSholler #IWD2016

The country today joins the rest of the world in observing the 2016 International Women's Day, but observers say much remains to be done to ensure women are finally playing on a level playing field with their male compatriots.

This year’s theme, ‘Pledge for Parity’ is a call to action for accelerating gender parity because the World Economic Forum predicted in 2015 that the gender gap would not close entirely until 2133, for instance, about 117 years from now.

Gender equality and the empowerment of women is gaining grounds worldwide. There are more women Heads of State or Government than ever, and the highest proportion of women serving as Government ministers and top positions. Women are exercising even greater influence in business. More girls are being enrolled to schools and are growing up equipped with accurate information about their sexual reproductive health and rights, making informed choices and better equipped (with opportunities) to realize their potentials.

Despite this momentum, there is a long way to go before women and girls can be said to enjoy the fundamental rights, freedom and dignity that is their birthright and that will guarantee their well-being. Violence against women and girls persists. Why are we still tolerating a world where the gap is not only one of gender but one of leadership when it comes to women’s rights.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Bride, The Rapist And a Murderer by Akinwale Akinyoade

Her heart was thumping against her chest so loudly she was surprised none of the bridesmaids or the other women could hear the sound. She looked at the excited faces of the people milling around her and swallowed resignedly, they didn’t understand her plight; none of them knew of her grief. She did not trust any of them well enough to bare her pain, not even her chief bridesmaid who was so excited like it was her own wedding. Even if by chance any of them heard the thumping in her chest, they would probably mistake it as nervousness or excitement since today was her big day. But who could blame them, it was only natural for them to think it was it not? It was after all her wedding and she was supposed to be the happiest woman in the world right but happy was the last word that described how she felt.

Shade rubbed her palms together to steady her nerves in anticipation of that walk down the aisle, the walk that would lead her into a world she could never come back from as soon as she stepped into it. This was a big decision she was about to make. Whatever she did today was going to forever change the course of her life but she knew she was not ready. She stared at her reflection in the mirror making sure that her disinterest in the whole affair was well guarded as the bridal make-up team did their thing to her. She felt like meat ram being prepared for roasting as they expertly worked on her hair while another was adjusting her ridiculously expensive wedding gown.
Suddenly her mother’s sister, Mama Bisi burst into the room to announce that it was time. Shade swallowed the lump that developed in her throat and tears welled up in her eyes as she looked at the woman who had replaced her mother. Shade’s mother died when when she was just nine and Mama Bisi had never for a day allowed her to feel the vacuum of the loss of her mother. Her mind went to her mother, her sweet gentle mother who if she had been alive was sure to have saved her from this madness. Mama Bisi noticed the tears in Shade’s eyes and hugged her gently, smiling in her usual sweet manner. Shade hugged her back and wished Mama Bisi understood her tears weren’t what everyone thought it was. She wasn’t feeling emotional and over the moon because she was about to become a married woman, her tears were of pent up frustration. She felt so alone among all of them. Being the only daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the country was her plague. Although it was supposed to be a life of luxury and contentment, a life most would give an arm to have, Shade knew she would trade places instantly with the lowliest of beggars at that moment than to be called Shade Sukungbade. With a final look around the dressing room, she allowed herself to be led away like a lamb to the slaughter while the excited murmurs and chatter of the women sounded like her funeral song in her ears.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Is the devil to Blame? by @AbimbolaAbiolaa

(Image curled from

Punch Metro has a post about a recent child rape case.

"The boy named Thompson who lived with his family on Oremeji Street had complained about pains in his anus while his mother identified as Adenike Ejigbo gave him a bath. The boy told his mother the man, Amusa Ganiu lured him to a place where he allegedly penetrated his anus. The mother was said to have raised the alarm after which the matter was reported at Alakuko police division"

So what happened to the suspect?

"The lagos state deputy police public relations officer, ASP Aliyu Giwa confirmed the arrest and according to what a police source told their correspondent the suspect didn't deny the incident, he BLAMED THE DEVIL"

At the start of my read which didn't have the same headline as above, I already suspected this typical shift of blame which is frequently given by rapists and criminals who plead guilty to their crimes with a "but" would spring up. This sick excuse demonstrates again that those who commit child rape are committing crimes which came from the brain and multiple deliberate decisions than a "devil" driven compulsion committed by out of control human beings.

Offenders like Amusa committed these crimes because they want to and are meant to take full responsibility for it.

Blaming the devil is not a valid justification for the crime, rape is rape and it is inexcusable.

Monday, January 4, 2016

#BlogPost: She seduced me by Abimbola Abiola (@AbimbolaAbiolaa)

I came across these cases from Akwa Ibom and Lagos, about a 60, 29 and 20 years' old men who were arrested for rape and of how they told law enforcers that they were lured by their alleged victim's sexy behaviour.

So often when people hear this type of defense, some of them will rant about how girls are too sexy these days and therefore bringing sexual assaults upon themselves. This way of thinking is dead wrong. We've always said it, no girl or woman no matter how sexy she is or how she dresses brings sexual assaults upon herself.

This mindboggling cases should also remind us that this type of excuse is just that, an excuse and not a cause.

Their alleged victims were 8, 9 and 11 years old! Imagine.

If this doesn't shock you into letting go of the 'she seduced me' myth, then maybe hearing that this excuse was used by a convicted child abuser when the victim (his daughter) was only three years old, will have you seeing this lie for what it is.

A rationalization for a heinous crime.

So the question then becomes: will you support the rationalization of rapists or will you stand against these rationalizations and put the blame for rape where it belongs-on the rapist?

Share your thoughts via @StandtoEndRape on Twitter. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#16Days: Bear with Me by Fatou Wurie (@thefatoublog).



[Bear with me

Bear with me

Bear with me

Teday teday teday

Mama yooooooooo

Den dey cam den dey cam

Mama den dey cam

Den dey cam]

My dreams are still realities that nestle in profanities

As I smell blood they extract from limbs in deadened streams.

The red sea cries, as Babylon sails, but I’m in salone.

Sweet sweet salone teday

Where assailed voices don’t pass Freetown.

So I’m asking freed slaves to come chain me take me away.

Freed slaves come chain and take me away,

To a land where pain isn’t gain

And rain isn’t placed into the fast lane

Of destruction

SONG [Maaama yoo

Mamama yooooo

Sweet salone

Den dey de diee ohhhhhhhhh]

My mother’s bosom warm with security

Rocks me back and forth forth and back

gestating me back to reality, but my body has memory.

The day they divided my legs....

they forced my honeycomb to burst – explode.

They Shot papa - I say I dey yerie yerie - Uncle done run away to green bushe.

Mama mama cam cam cam

So mama rocks me to the present, present, present

Be here in the present

She soothes and says

na dream you dey dream dream deam

But it feels so damn real that this might be my last meal

paradise don gone na sweet sweet salone.


See people ask me all the time isn’t it the place

where diamonds reside?

How is it going by the way?

Last time I checked it wasn’t safe

You know, like there are problems there

I then ask....


Where where you when they asked me

Short sleeve or long sleeve

Asked me to love a part of me?

Where were you

When they bitched slapped me

And asked raped or pounded

My dear which will you be?

Where were you

When they burnt

Houses down?

Where were you when they burnt schools down?

Intellects and judges down?

Children and brightened dreams down?

Disempowered minds

Political turnarounds

Left all of us in the dogpound

Bear with me when I cry in the night

Bear with me if I’m still angry deep in side

Bear with me if I smoke to escape

Or if I drink to daydream peacefully..

Bear with me when I freak out in bed

Bear with me when my heart violates to be heard

Bear with me when I scream.

Sweet salone salone

Bear with me

Our stories are spilling.

Sweet salone salone

Bear with me

Death is still grieving.

Den say den day den say salone pikin

Una cam back Una cam Una back cam back

salone pikin dem

Una came back

Una forget!

Una forgive!

Bear with me if I cannot forget

Bear with me if I cannot forgive

For My body, his body, her body, our bodies, my body....

has memory.

Bear with me (3 Times).

Fatou Wurie is a writer, blogger, gender advocate amongst other things. She uses her writings to address social issues as it affects women and children. She is the Founder of The Survivors Dream Project, an organization charged with empowering survivors of  Ebola with life skills. You can read more of her work at

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Featured Post: #Rape is About Power, Not Dress Style by SAMIRA SAWLANI (@samirasawlani)

One would think that a youth affairs minister in any country would be an individual who could be held up as an example to all those youngsters that he or she serves.

According to a Daily Monitor article, Minister Kibuule (a Ugandan Minister) suggests that when a rape is reported, the police should assess how the victim was dressed.

Should it be found that she was wearing miniskirts, tight jeans, bikinis or other ‘indecent’ items, the aggressor should be freed. This trend of ‘victim blaming’ has become a sickness which seems to have taken over the world.

For many years civil society organisations, the media and survivors of rape have spoken out about the treatment by authorities and the police, of women who report a rape.

Rose, (name changed), is 32. Weeks before she was due to get married, she boarded a taxi home at 9pm. as she alighted and began the two-minute walk to her house, three men followed her and began making inappropriate remarks.

One put his hand on her mouth and pulled her into the bush on the side of the road. What followed was a harrowing ordeal where she was pushed to the ground, the first man forcing himself upon her, his weight making it impossible for her to move while his hand covered her mouth.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Poem on #Rape: For Her by Fatou Wurie (@theFatoublog)


This poem is for the girl who like a missing tooth was invisibly visible, 

Left on the sidewalk to cascade heated tears so hard it made sun skip shine for the day. 

This poem is for the girl who is too thick, so slick, to thin, to smart, to pretty, too un-pretty too colored, too black, too white, too brown, too woman all too soon. 

This poem is for the girl whose front tooth like the future that lies between the past and present stood gaped and half full. 

This poem is for the girl whose color was too dark like the marmite spread her mama would saturate on white bread, 

Her mahogany skin not wanted

Shunned in the nicest way possible 

Exotic but not normal Tolerated but not honored

Accepted but not loved

This poem is for her bleached dreams. 

These words are for the girl whose body was too supple and refined

a girl’s soul cased in a woman’s body 

as he rubbed himself on her insiders 

softly at first, leisurely as he pleasured him self-only.

Kneaded her tits like bread-dough,

divided her legs like the second coming of Moses between red waters for his pleasure-only. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Press Release: Violence against Persons Prohibition Bill (#VAPPBill) – A Call for Presidential Assent by #Choice4Life Advocates

25th May, 2015

After a thirteen-year sojourn at the National Assembly, the Violence against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Bill was passed by the Senate on 5th May, 2015. It was earlier passed by the House of Representatives on 14th March, 2013. While the bill awaited legislative action, thousands of Nigerians fell victim to various forms of violence and many lost their lives. Now that the bill has been passed by both chambers of the national assembly, harmonized and transmitted to the president, we call on President Goodluck Jonathan to further pen his name in the history books by assenting to it immediately.

Sexual violence, a crime the VAPP bill seeks to address appears to be on the rise in recent times.  Adolescents and youths, particularly young girls are the main victims of this form of violence. Unfortunately, 52% of victims do nothing about it (National Demographic Health Survey 2013) due  to minimal support structure on ground. Domestic violence, female genital cutting, electoral violence, and many others have also caused tremendous damages in our national polity.

Troubled by the sufferings of these victims who hardly ever get justice or support, the #Choice4Life  advocates, a group of young Nigerians from diverse ethno-religious and professional backgrounds joined the advocacy for the passage of VAPP bill into law. For the past 13 months that we led the #Choice4Life campaign via social media, television and radio, we observed a high acceptance of thebill by Nigerians.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Press Release: Stand to End Rape Initiative Partners with The Eight Foundation

As a means of expanding and providing more referral centers for survivors of sexual violence, on Wednesday, April 22nd 2015, the Stand to End Rape Initiative team, a leading non-profit organization promoting sexual rights and reproductive health and providing FREE legal, medical and psychological help to survivors of sexual violence visited The Eight Foundation in Lekki Phase 1.

The Eight Foundation is an initiative of Miss Nigeria, Ezinne Akudo and aims at providing a platform where rape survivors can get succor. The rape crisis center has trained psychologists who can counsel both and adult and children survivors.

The centre provides free counselling to survivors and also has a partnership with Easy Taxi to pick the survivors up from any location at no extra cost.

The Executive Director of Stand to End Rape Initiative, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi expressed her delight to partner with The Eight Foundation and hopes that survivors will embrace this opportunity to speak out.

If you have been raped or abused and need someone to talk to, we are here. Please contact Stand to End Rape Initiative via -

Phone: 08095967000

You can also conenct with us via our social media platforms -


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Opinion: Rape and a Few Underlying Issues by @AAABORODE

There is no justification for rape, but we can achieve a significant plus when we cut off 
the extreme indecent dressing rampant nowadays. It is also a significant tool used by the 
perpetrators / rapists to cower their victims into believing it was their fault.

The sudden increase in the number of rape cases in recent times is not just alarming but scary! We are fast becoming regular victims of mentally derailed predators and the war seem like it’s just getting started.

The act of rape isn’t humane; and I see it as an act carried out by people with very low self-esteem and very sad lives. Unfortunately ladies and children are the major victims of these atrocious acts; they are subjected to the forceful act and end up being psychologically damaged for most parts of their lives.

Rape has resulted in cases of abortion, death of many either by suicide or murder and it has sent many to psychiatrist homes. It has aided the spread of sexually transmitted infections and paralyzed the dreams of many. Our environment hasn’t been just to the victims of these barbaric acts.

The victims, in most cases have been left to live in fear and turmoil. They have been made to look like outcasts and their burden has been derided as ‘normal’. We as a people need to understand that no one deserves to be raped and we should help these victims fight the war. The dangers of not helping are countless and it may end up knocking on your door if you think it hasn’t gotten to the grave end yet.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...