Till this day, I’m still experiencing the chest pain I felt since a week ago when Mr George Floyd was killed in broad daylight. While I was deeply saddened by that and angry, an even greater sadness hit me, so hard my chest even go so much tighter, in the space of only three days, Tina a 16 years old girl was killed by a drunk police in Lagos, Nigeria where I reside, then Uwa was raped and then bashed in the head inside a church where she went to study in Benin, Nigeria and then more news about girls who haven’t reached even teenage hood were all over the media. I realized after someone mentioned it that the cause of this chest pain I’ve been feeling might be as a result of not being able to help and also feeling helpless so in that light, I’ve decided to do everything within my power while social distancing to be of help because yes, this might feel like a helpless situation as the deed has already been done but we have to do something to stop it from happening again and that’s what today’s post is about…
1. SUPPORT FUNDS/CAUSES PROVIDING NECESSARY ASSISTANCE
Thankfully, we have organizations who have dedicated their time and resources to providing care and assistance to rape/sexual abuse victims like S.T.E.R
2. SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE EDUCATING PEOPLE ON CONSTENT
I’ve being constantly scrolling on my timeline these past days and the lack of knowledge about what consent is is beyond appalling. Even they hashtag ‘saynotorape’ isn’t any effective as the victims of rape do not say yes so it’s highly important to support organizations teaching the society on consent.
3. SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING MEDICAL SUPPORT
From pregnancies to severe injuries to sexually transmitted infections and diseases like HIV, a lot of rape victims are not spared at all. Even beyond the physical, the psychological trauma that comes after is one that needs to be attended to. Being in Nigeria where rape victims are in most cases hushed and because of this can’t pay for their medical needs, it’s important to support organizations who offer these treatments for free.
4. SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDE CARE FOR GIRLS
One way in which a lot of the younger girls who have been raped have been lured is with money. It’s beyond me that there are people who employ underaged girls as maids and also go ahead to not provide basic needs like sanitary towel to these girls. Asides from this, there are also a lot of families in Nigeria who can barely afford to feed not to talk about the sanitary needs of their daughters etc so it’s highly important that no matter how little, these organizations that care for girls in Nigeria are supported always.
5. LEND YOUR OWN VOICE, EDUCATE THOSE AROUND YOU
Don’t be that person whose family or friends make reckless comments about rape and other forms of sexual abuse and you just keep quiet. Nigeria is a country built on misogyny, from homes to schools to religious homes etc the victim is always the one to be blamed and that has to STOP!!!! If you hear or see a child being or someone who can’t speak for themselves being abused, don’t just walk away saying it’s not your business because heck yeah it is YOUR BUSINESS because a community free of abuse and rape is also going to be beneficial to you.
Here is a list of other organizations that you can volunteer to and support through donations :
@ProjectalertVaw @DSVRT @WARIF_NG @Tamarsarcwacol @N3lewaCentre @NanaKcentre @cece_yara @BHInigeria @dorymanze @HerStoryOSNG
At the end of the day, what really effects this change that we want is the things we do when no one is watching. Are you still policing what women wear? Are you still thinking things like ‘why won’t they rape her?’, Are you still making excuses for rapists and sexual abusers just because they are your family or friends? etc. It’s very important to always challenge people or situations who try to diminish the efforts being made at this time to bring sexual predators to book, let them know that even apologists will not be spared. We are all human beings and should learn that you are not entitled to any other persons body especially sexually no matter who you think you are in that persons life.
I’d also like to use this medium to talk to content creators, you can’t afford to be quiet at this time, your aesthetics can realign but the lives of those lost can never come back and speaking up is the least we can do for the sake of humanity. However, if you really truly do not want to say anything or post anything about what’s happening, that’s also fine. Do not then go ahead to post or say something just because you’re afraid of losing your audience or see this as an opportunity to still gain some attention for yourself because what is worse than silence at this time is performative activism.
Also, I wish everyone a new month better than the last five months of 2020. This year has been like a whirlwind that we’re all dancing in but I’m still very full of hope and expectations. Take things easy, spend time with loved ones, take breaks from the media etc, just do whatever will lift your spirit at this time and continue to fight for your mental wellbeing.
Thanks for reading, love always…