Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shame: Poem by Tosin Adeshokan (@theOluwatosin)


The child heavy with child.
Spited by her mates,
Shallow bastards that wouldn’t know any better.
Disgraced by the community,
Shamed by her family.
She won’t find the cure to cancer.
That future is now erased.
All she would ever be would be street fights and failed marriages.
Drugs and suicide attempts.
One day she gets lucky and kills herself,
Trying to drown the Indian movie of sadness her life has become.

But do not shame Shade
No No No! Don’t even dare!

Shame her father for being a pig!
It’s not his fault he can’t respect women!
Just like his father before him, he is a violent abusive drunk!

Shame her mother for not standing against hell she called marriage.
A fractured nose here, a non-operational black eye there.
Settling for someone beneath her because society says ‘A woman is a failure if she isn’t married’.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Donation to #Give2STER by Ebiokpo Botei: Embracing and Appreciating Womanhood


If bravery had a face it will be her. She is not the tallest of women folk, small in stature but presence so strong it is difficult to ignore. She is of African descent and prides herself in the pursuit of liberation and justice for women emancipation. She is D’bi young Anitafrika.

A Jamaican born and Toronto based storyteller and playwright, she effortlessly identifies with language and racial difference while addressing the focus of her work; female liberation.

There are a number of individuals advocating change on behalf of women, but this lady goes about hers in the most novel and unique of ways: storytelling. Passionate in her performance, emotional in her thoughts, artistic in her formulation and carriage, she weaves in detail and reality in the fine twines of art to project from an entertaining perspective, what we ought to be educated about. Anyone could have done same. Really? Anyone can capture an audience that cuts across different races with spoken words that go to the deep of the soul while, occupying the stage with the most unconventional stage performance costume? Not that many. I heard her mutter words in a Nigerian language, I thought was Yoruba. Indeed, it was Yoruba. Truth is, in difference and uniqueness she has not only addressed but enlightened as many that cared to listen, and as far as her conspicuous outfits go, those who couldn’t care less where drawn to listen. Child abuse, rape, chastisement for being HIV positive- All these are love songs she likes to sing and her choruses echoed on every stage she stood. Did I mention she has been on quite few? Yes she has.

                                          Why does she speak?

The little girl in the farms of the suburbs whose mum had no idea ‘Uncle’ Mark was taking advantage of, Laura in secondary school who as safe as she tried to live, fell victim to HIV and has been despised even by those she called family and friends and Lebo who was scarred as a result of rape just because someone thought it an effective war tool, who speaks for them? (Watch a video HERE).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Broken Wings by Ejura Salihu (@FleshyYetty)

Broken wings

I was free like a bird

I spread my wings and flew

Young and fresh like the morning dew

Innocent and in love

I had no fear

You were the one I held dear

You used to be my knight

Holding me tight through stormy nights

The world was mine to take

The dawn for me was breaking

I felt like your priceless princess 

Nothing could go wrong 

So I thought

The betrayal was swift and painful 

That cold night, you held me 

Kissed me

Promised me forever

Then held me closer

Soon your hand moved up my skirt

I asked you to stop

Told you I did not want to go that far

You said I did not mean it and mocked me

You forcefully had your way

Leaving me with broken wings

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#Give2STER Press Release.

For Immediate Release

September 16, 2014

The #Give2STER Campaign promotes an end to sexual violence and abuse.

Stand to End Rape (S.T.E.R) Initiative works to end all forms of rape through education, supporting victims of rape and changing community perceptions towards sexual violence and abuse. S.T.E.R provides awareness seminars, sexual violence and abuse education, peer mentoring, therapy and promotes sexual and reproductive rights.

The “#Give2STER” campaign is an opportunity for everyone to say no to sexual violence and abuse in our communities, and take a pledge to support the campaign. The campaign is aimed at starting a free self-defense class for children and young adults, visit schools to distribute preventive materials on sexual violence and also to have a rape intervention centre in Lagos (and across Nigeria).

Throughout the coming weeks, S.T.E.R will be sharing information on how you can do your part to promote the campaign.

Follow STER’s Twitter handle: @standtoendrape for campaign updates, ways to donate and opportunities to join the campaign.

The #Give2STER campaign, which is STER's first official fundraiser starts today and culminates on October 4th by 8 p.m.

You can donate to STER’s bank account:

Account Name: Stand To End Rape Initiative

Account Number: 0157148304 (Cooperate Account).

Bank: GTBank

You can also visit or call +2348095967000 for more information, updates on the campaign and ways you can participate on October 4th!

-End of release-

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oral Rape and Its Survival

Many have no clue that oral rape exists. In the experiences shared below, we hope to enlighten you on oral rape and forms in which it occurs.

Oral Rape: Giving

Jackie's Story: One of the most challenging aspects of my rape was being forced to perform oral sex on my rapist. Unlike vaginal rape, it can be difficult coming to terms with feeling like an active participant in the abuse. While we know we didn’t want it, we still see ourselves doing it, even though it wasn’t a consensual act. This participation brings on a level of shame that can often feel unbearable.

The challenge in healing stems from a variety of issues. First, there is general embarrassment that comes from discussing oral sex. It is often the topic of many jokes, but it is not typically a conversation for “polite” company. This made discussing it very difficult and compounded the shame I felt.

Another issue is the misconception of how one can be forced to perform oral sex. While I was fortunate to have an incredible support system, they sometimes seemed to require an explanation as to how this could occur, which just exacerbated my shame. Although others may not be able to understand, it is of course possible to be forced to perform oral sex.

I needed to maintain the control that was taken during the oral rape and I found myself feeling very guarded about what I put in my mouth. In addition to the more obvious healing issues, there are also triggers that arise from eating certain foods that are phallic such as a bananas, ice cream or lollipops. At times, daily routines such as brushing my teeth can bring back memories or cause feelings of discomfort. Trips to the dentist also became a struggle.

Being able to connect with other survivors has been a great benefit. I no longer feel alone in my pain which is something that has helped the shame subside greatly. I now realize that there is no such thing as participation in rape. By definition, our choice was removed.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Civil Society and the War against Domestic Violence by Bunmi Olaniyan

Within the last couple of weeks a lot of occurrences from the mundane to patently mind blowing has been scrolling across our collective, from continued Bringbackourgirls hash tag campaign for the Chibok girls to be rescued by Government to the comedy of the absurd playing out amongst our morally fractured political class.

Presently the 30percentornothing hash tag campaign is trending with a wide and varied series of emotional response. Some irritated others angry, while some offered whole hearted support and enthusiasm and those in between..

However apart from the frustration and anger at the perceived complacency of Government as regards a whole raft of issues, none of the news has caused as much angst and exasperation as the tweets bordering on an incident of domestic violence I read about barely few minutes ago. Since information about this particular issue is just unfolding hence we are not privy to the facts surrounding it this piece will suffice with one of equal impact hence assessment.

A couple of months ago, the flamboyant ex lawmaker Dino Melaye's partner packed out of his house due to her inability to withstand Dino's regular violence upon her person.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Was it My Fault? Self-Blame and Survivors

Was it my fault?

This is one common question. It should really come as no surprise that survivors blame themselves; it seems that society only takes rape seriously when the victim was violently overtaken by a stranger jumping out of the bushes. For most of us, our rapists were wolves in sheep’s clothing. They were our dates, our friends, our teachers, our cousins or fathers or mothers or husbands.

In Nigeria as we all know, most survivors tend to shy away from the incident and choose to keep mute. Based on findings, only 2 in 15 rape cases are reported and as little as 0.3% of the accused rapists are convicted. When the courts aren’t placing responsibility where it belongs, it becomes even harder for society to see us as victims whose actions played no role in what happened. And, therefore, it becomes even harder for us as survivors to realize that we are not to blame.

Did my choice lead to my rape?

We make hundreds of choices each day. Some are clearly good (wearing our seatbelt) and some are more neutral (eating potato chips for lunch instead of an apple). But some choices we make end up being bad only because of an intervening factor. For instance, one day last summer I parked outside instead of in a covered garage, on a day that happened to bring a huge hailstorm, and my car sustained expensive damages. "How stupid," I thought. "If only I had parked in the garage." What a bad choice I made!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Losing Your Virginity to Rape

Being raped, regardless of the circumstances, is always traumatic. Losing your virginity to rape can add an extra layer of pain to an already horrific experience. A person’s virginity can be precious to them in many ways and the impact of its loss through rape can be particularly devastating.


The losing of your virginity has always been significant within most cultures and in today’s society it has become an important rite of passage. Choosing to lose your virginity is seen as an important life event and in western society it plays a large role in many films, T.V. shows and books. If you have lost your virginity to rape then you have been cheated out of making this important choice for yourself and that is a huge loss.

Anyone who has been raped will experience a sense of loss over what happened to them. Being raped can make a person feel that they have lost a part of themselves as well as feeling a loss of control over what happened to their body. Adding the loss of your virginity to this can feel really overwhelming. The loss can be so much bigger than just physically losing your virginity. Many people hold onto their virginity with the hope that they will one day be able to give it to someone special. Some may have been keeping it for their husband or wife, while others may have been waiting for the right person to come into their lives. Whatever you were waiting for, having your virginity taken from you through rape also means that you loose this dream.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Female Side to Rape by Ejura Salihu

Last week's letter 'Dear Aunty Timi' was a heart's cry. If you haven't read it, please read HERE. That letter pictures the pain some have been forced to endure for many years. The scar is carried all through childhood to adulthood with little chance of total healing because the world is not listening to the cries. The muffled screams from a little girl next door while her body and innocence is taken from her forcefully by someone who should protect her, goes unnoticed because everyone is too busy to care. 

Scenarios may differ but the crime remains the same with the child growing up to be an adult with sad broken memories and a stolen childhood. As Miss J narrated her ordeal, the first thing I realised was how she seemed just as frightened as a little girl again, the broken trust still rang through her words. Her only question still remains 'Why Aunty Timi?' There are so many articles, stories out there about abusive uncles, but aunties rape too. It is harder to imagine and easier than you think for it to happen to any toddler. As a parent, when you need a maid, you feel safer getting a female maid since stories of male helps abusing girls is so rampant. A relative calls informing you of a planned visit and you heave a sigh of relief that its your younger sister. Your precious little daughter should be safe right? Hmmm...sadly that is not always the case. Aunties rape too! Female helps molest young girls too and even boys (we will talk about that some other day).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Real Rape: What Nobody is Telling You

He ignored me. He betrayed me. He broke me into a million pieces. It was as if someone had cut me open, slashed deeply into each of my organs and stitched me back up again to live a nightmare-bleeding from the inside out. I didn’t know I had become a statistic for a crime that you never hear about.

We, as a society, hear the word rape and picture a woman being attacked in a dark alley by some drifter. We, as media-educated drones, envision a college co-ed going to a party and being assaulted by a gang of frat boys. We, as women, imagine some sicko holding a knife to our throats to get what he wants. Is that rape? You bet. But, all those scenarios account only a few percentage of the cases reported.

That leaves 72%* of rapes that don’t fit the stereotype. Huh? How can we not know what most rapes are like? That doesn’t make any sense. What we know as rape isn’t the majority. Why? How can it be that so many rapes committed aren’t what we know rape to be? No one wants to talk about real rape. No one wants to put it out there for discussion. No one wants to admit that our society has a large majority of rapes that are unspeakable, let alone unthinkable. Or even worse, society just doesn’t think the majority is as bad as the stereotype. If that’s the case, we’re dead wrong-every last one of us.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dear Aunty Timi by Ejura Salihu

 It has been twenty years since the last time I saw you and it was a surprise to see you again today. However the surprise is not a pleasant one, it is one filled with anger and pain at a memory half forgotten. I remember feeling like you owed me something I could not ask for the day you left.

You came to me and asked for a hug and a kiss and I relented. Mummy rebuked me and I reluctantly obliged. I remember being angry with mum for days for that. How could she not see her precious little sister was defiling me? How could she not tell I was hurting? I did not understand why I felt like I was betraying the family by being molested by you. I felt naked, ashamed and angry.

Mummy always warned me against allowing boys to touch my wooha but she never said anything about girls or you so I was confused the first time you touched me and forced me to lick your wooha. I cried and begged and hurt when you put your finger in me but I couldn't tell mummy because I didn't know if you had a right to, you told me you had a right to, you said I was just a little girl and little girls obey orders. You lied, you betrayed me. You stayed for only a month but that short holiday changed the course of my life forever.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I guess that my difficulty in being able to write about women related themes in my writings stemmed from the fact that when I had grown to the level of self-realisation, my mother who could properly guide me through the mountainous range of knowing and appreciating the opposite sex was no more of this earth, or perhaps because I never grew with a female sibling, or even maybe, because I grew up in a conventional Nigerian family , ferociously grounded in morals, where it would amount to a taboo for a man to ever think of stooping so low to the level of a woman (Infact, God help you if Papa should as much as catch you innocently daydreaming about the opposite sex).

I had methodically embarked on a joyous voyage of Thank-God-I-Am-A-Man themed writings. A moment of introspection had awakened in me and opened my eyes to the wonders and amazing world of being a woman. A task which I will not set out here, but suffice it to say that being a woman is a very beautiful experience. That sadly seems to be on a sharp decline as evinced from the various acts of violence against women. Questions after question continually barraged my mind. What if my future wife was someone who had undergone the damaging and traumatising effects of being raped? What if I am nowhere to be found tomorrow, what will be the fate of my future daughters in a world of prejudiced values against women? What if my only sister, had she been alive, grows to become a victim of rape? Worst of all, what if I had been born a girl, who could tell, if I wouldn't have experienced such traumatic moments of being dehumanised and downgraded? As these unanswered questions kept nagging at me, I found myself invariably departing from mainstream Collins; trademark Arikor, who naturally is stone-hearted when it comes to matters concerning the opposite sex. Because whichever way you decide to look at it, the issue of rape touches us all in one way or the other. And then an inner voice told me it was time to wear the shoes of rape victims so as to feel how it pinches; it was time to lend my voice to the dastardly act of rape. This monster called rape.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rape Goes Both Ways by Buki Otuyemi

As far-fetched as it may sound to many, men and boys do get raped too. Rape is all shades of evil and it is especially hard and traumatic on the victims. One would find it difficult to visualize how men get raped given their physical stature and strength compared to women but the fact remains that men have been disarmed in the past by women (and other men) and raped.

I recall hearing a story when I just got into the university, about how a bunch of ladies raped a randy lecturer that had been sexually harassing a younger student. Also, I have been reading about men being raped in places like South Africa, Europe, etc for many years now. Male-rape have been going on for a long time and while they are not as rampant as female-rape, the devastating trauma the victims go through are not to be trivialized.

Recently in Russia, a 27-year-old female hair-stylist knocked out a 32-year-old would-be male burglar who tried to rob her shop and then tied him up. She was skilled in martial arts and was able to knock him out and subdue him with her skills. She plied him with viagra and raped him several times for three days before releasing him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rape: The New Joke by Ejura Salihu

Some days ago, another young lady's life was changed forever. She was betrayed, raped and humiliated on social media. Her name is Jada and she lives in houston, but there is a Jada on every street in Nigeria. We might not see their nudity and assault posted online by their attackers but they exist, shamed and alone. Jada's humiliation didn't stop when the video went viral unfortunately. Instead of sympathy, cyberbullies all over the world continued to humiliate her further and mock her pain with #Jadapose and all sorts of mocking tweets. I have seen a lot of tweets that are nothing short of condescending to the young girl with many mocking her and claiming 'she must have enjoyed it' another one stated 'she got drunk so what did she expect.' I was repulsed.

It dawned on me that rape activists exist, people who think rape is an exaggeration, a norm, a right and a joke, yeah believe it, some people think it is funny. People who believe if a girl is drunk or in a helpless situation then its only natural she should be raped. No one should be subjected to the inhumane treatment of rape. It is her body, no one should take it from her without her consent, no one should humiliate her body by posting them online, no one owns Jada's body except her. Jada is asking for justice, she deserves justice to heal and move on, so does every young girl stripped of innocence by monsters in sheep clothing. Let's speak for Jada and all victims of rape. Our future children should be born into a rape free world. I hope the perpetrators are caught and made to pay for their crimes. It might not take away the hurt but it is a good place to start. #JusticeforJada #StandtoEndRape

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Standing on the Sidelines By Ejura Salihu

In the chaos of the terror we know as Boko Haram, we are awakened everyday to the reminder that over 270 young ladies live the nightmare of rape, abuse and violence per hour. The helplessness makes me mad, we keep hoping the nightmare ends soon but its been over 50days and hopes must be diming in the minds of these precious angels. I keep hope alive though knowing one day these young ladies will be survivors sharing their stories with strength and undiminished soul like the women of valor I have met on this blog.

I keep praying for continued strength for all survivors and all going through every form of abuse. Some people believe if it didn't happen to you or it didn't hit close to home, its not your business but I disagree! I don't think this fight is for just survivors, some of us are here to chant your praises when you get scared to speak, cheer you on when discouraged and weak. We will always be here to listen and pray for you. I have never claimed to know or even be capable of imagining what being a survivor feels like. I can't claim to know the pain you have dealt with. I do know its not easy for you to heal and speak up, I do know its not fair for it to have happened in the first place, I do know more should be done to stop the scourge and I do know you possess a strength many of us could never dream of possessing. 

I am proud of every single survivor. You are Phenomenal!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Shout Out to a Survivor By Ejura Salihu

I should have written this a few weeks ago but circumstances delayed this article, I hope its not late to pay tribute to an icon of strength, the survivor we all know too well, Late Maya Angelou. I would not claim to be an avid reader of her poems and her works but I love all the ones I have read and I can't deny the sheer strength that oozes through each masterpiece. I feel a sense of pride reading her struggles and survival. Raped at a tender age of 8, she lost her voice for a while but when she found her voice and spoke, the world listened till the end of her life and we are all still listening. 

Not all victims of rape find their voice immediately, most need time to heal internally before speaking out. I use this medium to encourage all victims of abuse wherever they may be, please heal, take your time, but when your find your strength and voice, don't let it be bullied into silence. You deserve justice, you deserve to be heard. The culture of rape can only be broken if the culture of silence is broken.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Save a Girl, Save a Nation By Emeka D. Azubuike

The issue of building a strong, viable and peaceful nation is one major clamor in our present world order; and for it to be said that a nation is working to a certain level, every sector or  challenge must be overcome. Some areas must be put into full consideration and attention in  measuring the viability of nations. One of such area is the security of citizens especially those who have limited ability to protect themselves like our girls and women.

Gender Based Violence is one menace that is prevalent in our society yet given little attention.  The differential a classification of women in the society as against men has made it possible for them to experience such acts of violence and discrimination. Such acts ranging from domestic violence, girl child trafficking, child labour, rape, assault, deprivation of education, child marriage, genital mutilation and many more that are not known to the society.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Victim Blaming Sends Mixed Messages to Perpetrators by Abimbola Abiola

On a radio talk show centred on rape, a caller who identified himself as a lawyer and rape and domestic abuse advocate shared a rape case about a girl who was gang raped at a party.

"I mean, she must be very stupid to go to the party in the first place" He said.

Several callers supported the lawyer's statement, some said she deserved it, after all a reasonable girl would know not to attend a night party hence she was to blame. Two callers even referred to the victim as 'foolish girl'. None of them bothered to ask/mentioned her rapists. This caught me off guard.

So, Lately I've been thinking about these laments against 'stupid' or 'foolish' victims by people who claim to be against rape and domestic abuse. These laments are at best hopelessly naive. At worst, they are callous statements which support rape and domestic abuse and help perpetrators justify or minimize their actions.

Typically there is more disdain in these laments directed at victims and potential victims that gets directed at perpetrators and potential perpetrators. When they get called on this, they will often justify directing their harshest statements at victims by labelling perpetrators as monsters incapable of learning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

POEM: Let the Chick out of the Lion’s Den By Chineke Onyedika Victor

Who will let the chick out of the lion’s den?
Who will save it from its trembling feathers?
It was let loose by the carelessness of God knows who
The chick, the hen and maybe the cockerel too
She is the chick
As innocent as the white dove
Still learning to fly above
Above struggles of life, above certain challenges
As feeble as the cartilage
Not yet ossified
Lacking strength, and lacking vigor

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Justice For Victims of Rape by Bukola Otuyemi

Majority of Nigerians staunchly believe that rape victims never get justice and we at Stand To End Rape Initiative (S.T.E.R) always do our best to convince them otherwise. One can hardly fault them completely given some past records, but the fact remains that determination in seeking justice with the precise evidences are what makes a success out of such cases. The path to seeking justice for rape victims are never smooth nor easy to tow, but tow them we must if we want to put an end to these heinous crimes against humanity.

When I read this article (Read HERE) in the news, I was overwhelmed with mixed feelings. A 45-year-old man had raped a 10-year-old boy horrifically, in Jigawa State. Firstly, I was sad at the plight of the young victim and concerned about him getting the right treatment and counselling to overcome the trauma. I'm not quite sure how accessible and efficient rape counselling centres are up North.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Let Love Into Your Hearts Again. R.I.P #Aluu4

I recall the horror washing over me when I watched the #Aluu4 video over a year ago.
I recall the helplessness on their faces as they were dragged and beaten and mocked and tortured by a mob.
I recall the hope in their eyes that perhaps, just perhaps, a miracle would occur and ONE person would step in and save them.
I recall the painfully outstretched hands pleading for mercy and begging for their lives to be spared.
I recall the rage, venom and madness that overtook the murderous crowd as they pummeled these young men to death.
I recall imagining what their parents would go through, knowing “fellow Nigerians” murdered their children in cold blood.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Abduction and Rape: The New Weapons of Terrorism #BringBackOurGirls

“I want to challenge the phrase "married off." Don't you think it's euphemistic? These girls have been violently abducted, and these "marriages" are actually rapes and imprisonments.” – A comment by ‘Perpetual Dawn’ on the New York Times’ Editorial of May 7, 2014 titled “Nigeria’s Stolen Girls”

Nothing succinctly captures the tragedy of Nigeria’s stolen girls than the quote reproduced above. We all are aware that violence in the north has been raging for sometime but has increased in popularity when on the night of April 14/15, about 300 girls were abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State and three weeks after while the nation was still working on rescuing the girls, no fewer than 8 girls were again kidnapped. This, combined with the effortless inaction of the government prompted Nigerians to raise their voices against these outrages. It fueled a strong social media campaign which started with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and also protests all over the nation. This made headlines around the world and as such gained the attention of the international communities who are now partly a major source of support to the cause.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Update On the Case of the 16-Year-Old Girl Who was Gang-Raped in Ifo LGA

About a fortnight ago, a horrific rape story was brought to the attention of Stand To End rape Initiative (S.T.E.R). A young girl, Hawawu had been gang raped brutally by four young men who resided in her neighborhood. Please find the link to the story HERE.

STER Initiative held several meetings and decided to take the case up. At about 5 p.m. on Monday the 28th of April 2014, Ayodeji Osowobi (coordinator: Stand To End Rape Initiative), Abayomi Idris (A Lawyer with Stand To End Rape Initiative) and Bukola Otuyemi (Programs Coordinator: Stand To End Rape Initiative) arrived at No. 4 Ilesanmi Street, Agbado Oja, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State. Locating the victim's abode was tough as it was tucked away in a very remote and ancient looking village just outside Lagos.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Date Rape: "Be Sensitized, Don't Be a Victim" By Aderemi Adesoji

Simply put, one of the worst things that can happen to a lady is RAPE. Yes, this is not gainsaying or any such thing. Just ask any victim and they’ll tell you how harrowing the experience was (for some, it never goes away).

While evil men, and sometimes women, device schemes to unnecessarily ruin people’s lives. We have to help the cause by enlightening our women folk on the concept of rape, and measures to be taken to avoid being a victim.

Rape is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “The crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.”
Rape comes in different forms, examples of which are Date rape, Spousal rape, Child rape, Statutory rape, Prison rape, War rape, Corrective rape, Incestual rape...

This article is focusing on Date rape.

Monday, March 31, 2014

"I Was Raped 13 Years Ago, But It's Time to Break the Silence," says BIDEMI

It's very important that more and more people #SpeakOut. Sharing your story is a step towards getting your healing... Today on the blog, I will be sharing the story of a lady, who was abused 13 years ago and yet relives the incident in her head daily.


She said watching my Moments With Mo session helped her find her voice... She sent this to me and I thought I should share this (with her permission of course).
Read more below...

Friday, February 14, 2014

In Awe of Valentine's Day

Yaaayaaa everyone it's valentine's day! Oh wait! Are you thinking what I am thinking? People tend to get carried away with the season that they make terrible decisions/get involved in wicked acts.

I just read a story on YNaija of a girl who asides getting robbed, was gang-raped by three men she met via social networking site, 2GO (incase you haven't read it, please click on the YNaija link). In the awe of wanting gifts, outings and all, you decide to meet someone you have never met in person today. I am not saying it is a bad idea, all I am saying is be careful so you don't fall victim like other people have.

Don't get too carried away. If possible, buy your own drinks. When you do, ensure you don't leave your opened drink to use the convenience room. I am not saying all men/ladies are bad, of course not! I am just ensuring that your safety :). Like I was saying, don't leave your drinks and please don't let him/her offer to take you home. I am sure you are thinking 'she is really weird and crazy! Why is she using him/her?' Ahhhhh, I am not crazy ooo, men and women rape ooo.

I heard a true life story of a girl, who was raped right in front of her gate (in the car) by a stranger who offered her a lift and my heart bled. Who would have imagined she could get raped right in front of her own house, in a car (for that matter) and she couldn't scream for help. All I am saying is take a cab, better still my brother and sister, enter bus biko!

If you will drink, please drink carefully. Don't drink heavily, go home with the man/lady, allow him/her strip you naked and rape you (it will break my heart). Many people have fallen victims of rape as a result.

With all these said, all of us at Stand To EndRape Initiative are wishing you a lovely celebration. Don't be a statistic. Stay sharp, stay SAFE! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

This is My Story

Hello everyone, sorry I have been quiet on the blog (tooo many things to do, e mabinu!) Someone recently sent her story to me and I felt it's worth sharing. I hope every reader learns one or two things from this. It's high time our university students learn to take note of certain signs, inroder not to fall victims. Please read, share and also drop your comments. Your comments keeps me going :).
Read more below...

It was a Sunday night. We were all going for a pool party: me and two of my friends. We had to do last minute shopping for bikinis which took all the time so we missed the party. We were so pissed and decided to go have drinks with friends. On getting there, they were all in the karaoke groove. We joined in and had loads of fun. 

The guy my friends were with seemed very interested in the 3 of us because we seemed to be having all the fun. We kept dancing and he kept promising to buy us stuff. (we were just in 100 level). 

We were so excited!!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Message to Survivors by Abimbola Abiola

In line with our upcoming project "Rape Survivors Network," which is targetted at building the confidence of other victims of rape, we have an article to encourage all rape survivors out there. Read and heal the more. If you need someone to speak to, remember @StandtoEndRape is always there to speak with you. Read more...

I've been sitting here for about an hour thinking of how best to start this. Sometimes I  wish people can see the pain of rape instead of reading through words. But then the only way they can and will ever know is if we open our mouths and talk about it or pick up our pens and write about it. For rape survivors it takes courage.

Embracing your courage isn't easy and might hurt us initially. Many of us have been there and at that time we were afraid the hurt will never end..It did, we broke free and healed!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to End a Rape Attempt in Seconds!

This is a very informative video. It teaches women and girls basic techniques they need to save themselves in rape situations. It's easy. As simple as a kick, a jab, a push, a slap seem, it could save you from being a victim of rape. Watch the video to know how it works, you'll be surprised. #BeEnlightened.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Violet by MissLara Oriye

"Leave me alone" she screamed. As she pulled the remaining of her shredded clothes to cover her naked body. "I begged you" she yelled "I did but you chose to do it anyway". "You treat me like shit and that's not cool". "Just so you know, this is the last time you will ever see me naked its over I'm leaving this marriage!

Violet motioned toward her closet she began to pick her clothes and dump into a suit case almost blindly. She decided to move in with her aunt up the street for some time.

She heard the door slam! " I will kill you" bobo shouted, I will kill you before you make a Mockery of me, the world will see me as a weak guy who cannot control his woman, you go nowhere except I say so. I'm not done using you when I am, I will let you know"!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Police Arrest Five for Gang-Raping, Robbing Woman

Five men have been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for allegedly gang raping a 33-year-old female trader in Ogun State. The perpetrators aged within 23-28, initially intended to kidnap the victim in return for a ransom, but robbed and raped her instead after she said she is an orphan.  The victim was dispossessed of a huge sum of money and her personal possessions worth thousands of naira. Read more...

Nigerian Eye reports:
The police in Ogun have arrested five men, who allegedly gang-raped a thirty-three-year-old female trader (names withheld) along Idiroko Road, Ipokia Local Government Area of the state.

The alleged rapists also robbed their victim of N1.8m cash and dispossessed her of other items worth over N387, 000 last Tuesday. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

It All Changed: My Life Story

My name is Dedun. I am vivacious, a go-getter, party rocker and definitely the life of any party you find me but all that changed on the 18th of November 2013 my personal DOOMZDAY.

I stupidly entered the same trap I berate younger girls for... My pride and dignity shattered and I was left broken due to the dictates of a man's lust he left me without choice and decided when,how and in the manner at which my first time happened... after all the plans of keeping this till I feel its the right person or to my lawfully wedded husband.
The deed is done and it cannot be changed he said, then you ask WHAT NEXT??  

First thoughts through my mind was to act out like they do in the movies but my shell shocked self couldn't curse you because I am also the harbinger of this misfortune. He could have left me be with my tattered pride but NO, he wanted to rip it all away from me till my body is crawling with shame all broken down in spirit... He dropped me off and dropped some money for me to sort myself out because he doesn't want to father any child.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Man, 36, Rapes and Impregnates His Daughter

What is going on with our country #Nigeria? When did it become a norm for men to rape their own daughters? Is this a curse or is it something that some men now derive pleasure in? It's bad enough to rape, but ones' own daughter??? Read more...
A 36-year-old man identified as Aminu Ajao, was arraigned on Monday, January 20th 2014 before an Ebute Meta magistrate court for allegedly raping his 14-year-old daughter. The girl, a primary school student, reportedly got pregnant for her father as a result of the rape.
According to the Police, the incident happened on Wale Azeez Street, Ajasa, Lagos State.
Punch reports:
The magistrate, Ms S.O Solebo, called the victim’s mother and her stepmother to court to give an account of how the event unfolded.
The victim’s mother, who did not disclose her name in court, said she had separated from Ajao and had remarried.
She said, “After our separation, I took my daughter to live with my mother.  But in October, 2013, he went to my mother’s house and took her from there.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Girl, 16, Raped to Death in Bayelsa

Not again! Why is rape making the headline news everyday? Are we missing something out? Just today, report has it that a 23-year-old boy allegedly raped a minor to death in Bayelsa. The alleged rapist ran away when he noticed the girl was dead, but amazingly handed himself to the police. Strange right? Read more on the report below.

Daily Trust reports:
A 23-year-old boy yesterday allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl to death in Oporoma community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the deceased visited the alleged rapist in company of her friend, where they were offered drinks containing substances suspected to be cocaine. Daily Trust learnt that while the deceased accepted the offer, her friend declined, and later left the room. Sources said after the deceased’s friend left the room, the suspect raped the victim until she became unconsciousThe alleged rapist, it was gathered, ran away when he noticed that the girl had died and that a mob was after him. Sources said he later handed himself to the police. 
The state Police Public Relations Officer Mr. Alex Akhigbe, confirmed the incident and added that the command is awaiting the outcome of the autopsy on the deceased.He confirmed that the suspected rapist entertained the deceased with alcohol before the rape.He however added that until an autopsy is carried out, the police cannot ascertain the cause of death.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rape: A Time Bomb Yet to be Defused (Part 2)

Having successfully dealt with the increasing tenor of rape in Nigeria in RAPE: A TIME BOMB WAITING TO BE DEFUSED (read HERE), this article tends to focus on the effects of rape on victims and some hopes to them. The first thing that comes to a girl’s mind during rape or an attempted rape is pregnancy and the fear of contracting any sexually transmitted disease. This tear jerker state usually leave the person in a confused, pitiable and often times, a defenceless state. After losing her dignity and self-esteem, the victim of rape goes through intense and most times unpredictable emotions.

This acute phase is usually characterised with the victim’s inner denial that the assault never occurred. This way, she tries to convince herself that she was not raped. She also experiences flash backs, nail biting dreams or nightmares, anxiety, feelings of humiliation, shame, and a strong desire to disconnect herself from the victim. Psychologists call this victim blaming. She could be blamed for flirting and dressing provocatively. She is usually scared of being alone, hardly gets settled in a crowd and finds it difficult to relate with the opposite sex. If she does, she could be domineering and rude.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

‘Forgive me, it’s my first time’: Man, 62, Pleads After Raping 7 YO Girl

There is always a first time to everything they say, but some things have an exception. It's unforgivable when a 62-year-old man (in his right mind) rapes a 7-year-old girl.

Boniface Ankwuli, 62, who was arrested by the Taraba State police on suspicion of rape has been found guilty of the charges against him. He was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison, before an Upper Area Court in Jalingo, the state capital.

Mr. Ankwuli admitted that he had raped the 7-year-old victim and he pleaded with the court to be 
lenient with him as it was his first offence. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Man Arrested for Raping Neighbour’s Pregnant Wife in Oyo

Adeji, a 30-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly raping his neighbour's wife in Ibadan. The accused then offered her N500 not to report. Guess that didn't work as he expected. Read more...
Gigglesplus reports:
A 30-year-old man, simply identified as Adeji is now cooling his heels in a cell at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Oyo State Police Command,
Iyaganku for allegedly raping his neighbour’s pregnant wife. 
Mary (other names withheld), a 23-year-old mother of two kids who is carrying a three-month old pregnancy was a victim of the suspect’s untamed libido. Adeji waylaid the pregnant woman when she was returning from the stream in Sanusi village, Idi-Ayunre, Ibadan, where they are both neighbours. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

This is My Story

We have been calling for (rape) stories that express courage, strength and bravery. We have had many survivors share their story (read some HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE), this is one from Aduke. Enjoy the read.

This is my story….it’s not a movie... it’s not a script… it’s my reality... it’s my story. I was 8years old... Yes 8years…I’m 32years old now but 24 years would always seem like yesterday when I was deprived of being a child… I want to be a child, crave for it but I’ve lost it forever.

I remember it vividly... My elder brother Emeka had returned from school, he was in the university, we were all excited and happy. We had all gone to the boy’s quarters to stay and greet him… he bought kwili kwili and other northern varieties not common in the east where we lived.

My sisters where there and uncle Obi was there too. Uncle Obi had come from the village not too long ago to live with us he was about 25years old. The same age with my eldest brother. He used to call me his small wife and I would giggle and we would all laugh… I was too small to be his wife but he always would buy me sweets and chewing gum and other things for school. My dad used to give us all those nice things too, so it was no big deal for me.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rape: A Time Bomb Yet to be Defused (Part 1)

The issue of sex is as natural a desire to every human being as it is to animals. When properly used it is marriage, when misused it is adultery or fornication, but if abused it is rape. Like a time bomb yet to be defused, the radical evil of rape ranging from date rape, wartime rape, gang rape and statutory rape (child rape) in Nigeria has become a grenade of crime yet to be addressed in totality.

The frequent murder committed by some men or boys who use their natural weapon to lash a lady or jail bait against her will in recent times has continued to receive a low profile attention from the states, either stemming from the victim’s refusal in evincing the rapist or the parents refusal in doing so or even the police. A case in point was the woman who swept under the carpet the rape of her daughter after being carrotedwith 100,000 Naira. What a shame!

It is on record that about two million German women were ravished by Red Army soldiers during the Second World War. Recently, a 16 year old Kenyan girl was helplessly and unfortunately raped by some guys on her way back from a burial. Even the much publicised Indian case where four men wasted the chaste treasure of a woman against her will. An herbalist in Jos, Plateau who raped a 16 year old girl under the guise of treatment and purification shows the unfinished list and the ticking time bomb of rape.

What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself. Some male folks say the ladies expose their bodies in public. The senatorial debate over a man who defiled a two year old baby speaks volumes that mere indecent exposure is not the only warranty for rape. It is more about one’s inner convivtion andself discipline, for every man has his will and every woman her way.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Letters from the Grave: I Was Raped

Six weeks ago, I committed suicide by drinking a poisonous concoction. The trauma of having been raped by a young man who attacked our house and robbed us of most of our valuables was just too much to bare.

Now, it is as if I am a child who is frightened of the dark. A light has to be left on all night whiles I sleep. The monstrous bastard that raped me, I don’t know his name and I doubt I ever will. I don’t believe that they will catch him, though they claim to be pretty confident.

When I think about that night, which, most of the time, I can hardly bear to do, it all, always, seems like a movie. Not like a dream or a nightmare, not as close or as vivid as that, but like a movie, which I saw several years ago, on a long, long-distance plane journey. But thinking about it, oddly, doesn’t hurt.

How he got access into the main house and made his way into my bedroom is still a mystery. The man who raped me was a young, dark-skinned man, in I guess, his mid-twenties. He had what I would describe as a “Westernised” accent. He was of medium height and had high cheekbones and lazy-looking eyes. His eyes looked like that of a cat. I like cats, but I didn’t like him. He was wearing a dark top of some kind and what looked like black jeans. He had a cap on his head. I had never seen him before in my life.

He woke me up by hitting me in the face. I don’t remember feeling any pain. Perhaps the fear blocked it out. I screamed briefly and then he turned on the TV. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I said to him, “How did you get in?” because I knew that I had not left any doors or windows unlocked.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Journey As a Survivor

I love that survivors are coming together in the comments section, I love that people are feeling comfortable sharing their stories, and I love that the stigma of abuse survivor shame is finally be sharing on here and baring my feelings in front of you all, it has not been easy. Writing comes easily to me, but the reflections I get while I'm writing, the memories that are dragged out of the darkness from the back of my closet where I have buried them away, they aren't easy to face. But I can't keep everything hidden away in the corner of a closet. The closet is full. I can no longer close the doors on my past trauma's. Just like all the wrong sized clothes that hang around in a closet and do no good to anyone, someone else could use them if you are just willing to pull them out and give them away. I wouldn't have been in the closet, if someone had seen me. I wouldn't have spent years piling more, and more, into that closet and locking it away, if I had known that it was ok to pull it all out. If I had known it was ok to tell someone what was going on, and if someone had listened, I might have been saved from years of trauma.

So I've been opening the doors, letting you all in, and beginning to sort through everything that I have worked so hard to hide away. I was hoping that it would help at least one person to realize that they are not alone. That they have nothing to be ashamed of. That it's ok to open the doors, because someone else did it first.

I had enough, and so the closet doors opened, and I couldn't remain silent anymore. Things needed to be changed, and so I broke the silence of my past, in an effort to change the future. I can't help everyone, most days I can't even help myself, but I'm trying. I am excited about the not-for-profit I'm starting. I am excited to be able to help all the (wo)men, that have fallen through the cracks. But sharing my story, its not been easy o. It's not easy for me, and its not easy for all the other women who have their closet doors shut so tightly that no light gets in. The biggest fear I've had, the biggest fear most people have that have been abused, is of not being believed, or of simply just not being understood. It is the main reason why so many of us stay silent.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rape, Murder Top 2013 Crime Record in Ekiti

Just yesterday we posted Osun State's rape record for 2013, today, Ekiti State is on the hot seat. According to reports, rape and murder topped Ekiti's crime record for 2013. Well, inasmuch as this is frightening, we are indeed happy that victims of rape are stepping out of the "shame zone" and are reporting rape cases. We are also commending the police for their hardwork.
Read more about the report below.

Punch reports:
The Ekiti State Police Command said in Ado- Ekiti, the state capital, on Tuesday that there were increased cases of rape and murder in the state last year. 
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Sotonye Wakama, gave the hint while rendering the account of the command’s efforts in crime prevention and reduction strategy in 2013. 
The CP put the number of reported rape cases in Ekiti State in 2013 at 44 against the 30 cases in 2012. 
He said there were 44 reported murder cases in the command last year, against the 31 reported cases in the preceding year.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

78 Rape Suspects Arrested by Osun Police in 2013: How Good Is This News?

Yesterday, when Punch reported that last year alone, 78 rape suspects were arrested in Osun State; people felt it was good news. But really, how good is this news? If this alarming statistic was recorded in one state alone (not ignoring cases that were unreported), what would be the total statistics on rape for the whole country? This reaffirms that we have a long path to thread on. Some have argued that Nigeria has a rape culture, while some others have stated that the issue of "rape" is being overflogged. The issue of rape cannot be overemphasised because it's an important issue. The amount of rapists unleashing their madness on girls is on the rise.

This isn't targeted at rubbishing the efforts of the Nigerian Police -- of course they have done an excellent job, but how many of these suspects have been prosecuted? Was justice meted in each case? Has the police department tried to help those victims of rape in cases of medical examination and couselling?

This report importantly serve as a reminder of the amount of girls, who get defiled on a daily basis. Imagine how many minors were defiled by this "inhumane beings." Take a second to think about the scars they have left in the hearts of our little angels.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ending Violence: Connecting the Dots Between Young African Women and Development

I attended a social function just last Wednesday in the Senegalese capital, Dakar. The event was one that you could describe as having successfully attracted under one roof an eclectic group of people: local politicians, artists, traditional leaders, entrepreneurs, etc.

I was mingling with guests and doing the usual social networking, and I was barely paying attention to the musicians when I heard the voice of the lead singer call for attention.

"We must care about the well being of our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. Violence against women and girls is not an option because we need them in building our nation. So I dedicate my next song…”

And with that, he went on singing.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Domestic Violence Short Film: Don't Ignore!

A short film advocating against domestic violence. When you are aware than someone is being abused, please don't keep quiet, you could be saving a life. Watch and enjoy!

Writer: Arome Ameh
Producer: Bamigbe Onasanya
Director: Soji Ogunnaike

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pregnancy As a Result of Rape: Will You Keep It or Abort It?

This issue has always been on my mind, but I just didn't know how to relate it. Even if you can't relate with this because you have never experienced it, you probably know someone who has. How then do we console such a person? Do we tell them "sorry" for the rape or for being victims of an unwanted pregnancy.

Getting raped is bad enough, having to raise a child as a result is more difficult. Most people at this point are forced to consider abortion. This may be because of the pressure from their parents to produce the father of the child or the stigma that comes from the society. We don't blame them, but is it the right thing to do? Why kill an innocent child for what he/she isn't guilty of. The world needs more vibrant leaders, how sure are you that your child isn't one of those?

Just what if during the abortion process you lose your womb or even your life. Who are you going to blame for that: the rapists, the unborn child or the doctor?  Most people have been victims of damaged wombs because they couldn't bear the torture of seeing a child, who reminds them of their ordeal. This isn't to say that this is an easy situation, however, you can make the best out of any circumstance, it depends on YOU. Which would you rather live with: that you killed a child, lost your womb and knowing that someone out there needs a child desperately or would you rather be positive and love your child. Just because you never wished to have a child through this means doesn't mean he isn't still a gift from God. If you can't bear to see the child that reminds you of your agony, wouldn't it be better for you to give that child a chance at living -- through adoption.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Domestic Violence Needs More Attention, Says Governor Fashola

During the 12th anniversary of Ms Funmi Iyanda's "Change A Life Programme,"which held at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Network centre on Victoria Island; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola stated that domestic violence needs more attention. He further explained the need for state police to shift focus from typical social vices such as kidnapping and armed robbery, to tackling grievous issues like domestic violence on women and children. Fashola also highlighted that rape cases are not usually reported by victims, as police lack adequate investigative mechanisms and legal provisions to apprehend/prosecute rapists. This and many more he said his administration will focus on for the new year. Read more after the cut.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Why Do Women Stay in Abusive Marriages?

As I sat to watch a movie called "Unforgivable," I saw a man who raped and physically abused his wife. This got me thinking '...what was going on?' When did it become acceptable for men to rape their wives? Why are women so quiet about sexual violence? Is it the fear of losing their marriage or because society has taught women to be quiet about such an incident?

Society itself contributes to this menace. Women are mostly not given the opportunity to air their opinion in marriage (even in this present age). They are seen as second class citizens, humans below men, fragile beings and sometimes as mere properties men purchased -- through bride price. This has relegated women to taking the back position. A position where women don't see the need to #SpeakOut.

Women have to change the way they view themselves. Hey, the way you view and place yourself is the way a man will handle you. Women must gain the confidence to express themselves in marriage. Marriage is a partnership, it isn't a one man venture. It has been said countless times, "if a man hits you once, he will hit you again." It is amazing when women stay in abusive marriages in the name of "He will change." What if he never changes? Are you going to keep hoping until he beats life out of you?

Women it is time to stop hiding under the disguise of been a faithful wife/spouse. An abusive marriage has nothing to do with humility and reverence for your spouse. If he hits you, #SpeakOut, talk to organisations that (you know) can help you or better still pray. If worse comes to worse; take to your heels before he takes your life. This is your year to walk in your freedom, don't be under the shackles of commitment by staying in a marriage that could possibly end your life. We are however not asking women to divorce their husbands or abandon their homes, we are only asking that they don't suffer in silence.

This is a call on women. It's time to #SpeakOut, take back your freedom.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What You Can Change In 2014 by Manuel Adesola

Here comes the dawn of a new day to mastermind the birth of a new moment, the introduction of a new phase and at the end revelation of a new year. On the morrow are promises of life, forgiveness of yesterdays and forgetfulness of yester-years. The past years had gone pregnant with happenings, many of which are favoring, a few of which are not. But depending on the perspective of view, everything may be to one as an advantage; the good, the bad and ugly as the bible puts; "All things work together for good to them that love God." But for the blood that flows within, and flesh that abhor pains, one would want a pill or two to end the trauma of victimization.

But I tell you, if it was a pain that respond to pain reliever, I am sure the clinic will have prescriptions for you.

Or if it was an ache that answers to the dictates of pain killers, doctors would have extra work on their hands to attend to.

But because it is not, it denies you the comfort of drugs to end the agony of pain. It is more of the mind than flesh. It radiates in emotion and feeling than the eyes can diagnose.

But in all that, you have a killer that kills kill. They call Him Comforter, Healer and Savior; He won’t leave you to know these pains alone but will take over the pain completely from you. Of a truth and fact I can tell, His power of restoration is efficient. He will put you back to where you belong; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and it won’t feel like anything was lost. By the time He is done, a new page would be opened and you would be asked to write a new you. Because as soon as you walk to Him, He re-programs your life to where you were before Him and not where circumstance of life has taken you. To Him, you are still the sweet daughter, a vessel to be used for His honor. Remember, no one can take away the purpose of a product as determined by the manufacturer. They can condemn and criticize but can’t stop the flow of a product to do its role. Your manufacturer, God is telling you not to forget your purpose because you were molested.

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