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!

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