#SheSaidThis

Five Nigerian Women Share Their Experiences Of Rape, Sexual Abuse And Harassment

   

In the wake of the global #MeToo movement, more Nigerian women are speaking out and sharing their stories to encourage others who may have gone through it and also break the cycle of stigma.

5 women share their experiences of rape, sexual abuse and harassment.

Brenda Uphopho was sexually assaulted three times by three different men.

The first time was when she was 5 years old and a man who worked for her family had forced her to touch him.

The second time was when she was 18 years old.  She had gone to a party and found herself alone with a stranger who beat her up and sexually assaulted her.

SEE ALSO: This Heartbreaking Story Of Child Sexual Abuse Will Remind Mothers To Be Careful Of The Women They Leave Their Sons With Too!

The third time, it was her boss. She was walking up the stairs in her office when her boss put his hand underneath her skirt.

Brenda, a festival producer and her husband have co-produced a play called “Shattered,” which aims to encourage victims of sexual violence to speak up about their experiences.

Eurel Nwafor, was raped in August 2017 after some opposition union members came to her former place of work. She was working as a personal assistant at a market in Lagos at the time.

She had heard some noise outside the office and wanted to check what could be happening when a man slapped and dragged her outside. He tore her clothes and raped her.

She has been fighting to bring charges against the man but her family wants her to leave everything in God’s hands.

But she shared a video on Instagram asking for help, “I cannot wake up every morning, knowing that the person that did this to me is out there going about his daily activities like nothing happened,” she said.

SEE ALSO: A Mother Explains Why She Won’t Be Withdrawing Her Children From Chrisland School Despite Allegations That A Staff Sexually Abused A Two Year-Old

Chichi Ogbonnaya was raped by a respected church member she calls uncle. She was just 10 years old. She had been asked to live with the man by her mother, who couldn’t afford to take care of her.

“He made me lie on top of him while his wife was away. (the first time) he tried to penetrate me but when he could not, he went to get something that looked like a lubricant. He told me to stay calm and be quiet. I didn’t know what was happening.”

The abuse continued until she was 15. During that time she was forced to have an abortion, which was messed up and left her bleeding alone in her bedroom.

She couldn’t tell her mum because they didn’t have a relationship where she could tell her what  happened to her.

Chichi now works as a program manager for Women at Risk International Foundation, a rape crisis center.

In 2010, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi was a volunteer in a local election and refused to register underage voters. One of the candidates approached her and promised her money, a car, employment and to make her life better, if she compromised.

Turning down the offer made her the community’s enemy except a young man who came to her polling center to register. He would pick her up in his car in the evening while telling her it was too late for her to walk alone.

One day, “He made advances at me. When I declined, his countenance changed and I knew I was in danger. I struggled to get out of the car but he chased after me and dragged me on the floor with my braids. He assaulted me while I pleaded with him that I was a virgin. I felt worthless after,” she said.

That experience inspired her to start Stand to End Rape, a rape center in Lagos.

Omodasola Omibeku was first abused by a distant relative at around 6 years old. Anytime they were alone, he would bring out his penis and ask if she knew what it was and wanted to touch it. “He would put it my hand or mouth.”

SEE ALSO: “A Producer Lured Me To His House, Told Me To Take Off My Clothes And Put A Knife To My Neck”- Steph Nora Okeke Shares Her Nollywood Sexual Harassment Story

She was attacked again in university, while she was walking home to her hostel after lectures. Both experiences have altered her views of sex. She began to heal after she met other victims of sexual abuse.

Now she supports other victims as a volunteer at Stand to End Rape center, “I want my story and healing process to help others out there and to let them know they are not alone,” she said.

Watch them speak on CNN

 

 

 

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