Gender based violence: My sister, you have a choice to walk out

Dear Diary,

We concluded the three-day action packed training today on reporting gender based violence.

I was challenged by some of the stories I heard. Some women even challenged me with their heart breaking stories. Don’t think you have problems until you hear the story of your next door neighbour.

God! Women are emotionally strong! I’m proud to be one.

I left the training, feeling like I could change the world. I know can’t anyway.  But I guess I can contribute my quota in some ways.

Through my write-up.

I give a thumb up for Journalists Against Aids (JAAIDS) and WACC that put event the together.

Just when you think you’ve heard and seen every horrible thing that had to do with GBV…

I don’t want to cry. But stories I heard just keep flashing through my mind.

A kid was raped to the extent that her intestines were gushing out from her vaginal. Can you beat that?

I heard enough about husbands’ battering their wives and children being raped, that I struggled not to throw up.

How could an old man, a grandpa, rape a deaf and dumb kid?

Thunder, wey don sayo on ogogoro, go fire such men!

It’s even more appalling to discover that boys are now being abused every day. Houseboys raping their madam and Oga boys, female teachers sexually violating kids under their care…

This is my take away from the training:

As a wife, don’t allow your husband to hit you. You have a choice. If you want to stay put in the abusive marriage because of culture, religion or children, he will kill you one day.

One of the most unbelievable reasons I heard for women staying with their abusive husbands is, children and lack of funds to care for those kids if she walks out.

And I asked what if the man drops dead? What happens? Will the woman stop fending for her kids?

We have women today, in Nigeria and all over Africa, widows, with five or more kids, fending for their kids.

There’s no excuse for your husband to hit you and there’ no excuse for you to accept it. Don’t be a victim!

Always ask yourself, what would you do if he’s not there…if he dies? How do you cope?

Perhaps the most prevalent GBV today in Nigeria is the economic one. Women are being starved of funds and foods. Perhaps as a form of punishments by husbands who want to be regarded as her lord and master? Today, women have become breadwinners in their homes.

Some are tortured psychologically every day.

Your wife is not your child, maid or subordinate. She’s your wife. The second part of you…your better half.

If your husband is abusing you, report him to the police. Or you may go to the Lagos State Government secretariat, Alausa and ask for the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT). They’ll help you. The government is on your side now. The choice is now yours. Enough is enough. You’ll get help.

It has been a trying week. So many stuffs rolling into one another.  After the programme today, I staggered home, wore out.

It’s like I haven’t slept for weeks. Bags under my eyes. But I wasn’t too tired to be angry with Ihuoma. She has refused to send the account statement. I’m presently working myself into a temper and I know that soon, fireworks will start.

Just heard that the CBN Governor’s wife has been kidnapped. Nawaooo.

I don’t know whether we’re battling recession or kidnappers. Kidnappers have taken over our country and we’re looking like Lucozade.

I got home and walked into the warm embraces of my kids. Anointed was sleeping, so I kissed his forcefully to wake him.

After the horrifying tales of children abuse I heard today, I held unto my kids for long. God please watch over them for me.

Michael jumped excited over some silly cartoons I bought. We’ve been buying cartoons these days because of recession. We can’t afford DSTV subscription anymore.

Yes OOO! Recession everywhere. At the turn of every corner, you’ll find someone seething.

Bus drivers and conductors are the worse! They are ready to curse and fight these days at the slightest provocation. See me, see trouble ooo, shey na me cause recession?

Recession is affecting everybody ojare! Right now, there’s no grain of rice in my house. It’s unheard of!

I used to have lovely, sexy, hot legs, now; recession has taken my legs’ sexiness away. I can’t even look at the legs…wrinkled and the rest….

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