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.
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