In Nigeria, cases of sexual abuse and rape has increased with victims rarely talking about it. Most times when they do, it is done in whispers to avoid criticism and isolation of identification associated with it.
Central Manager, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Detutu Ajibodu came on #WakeUpNigeria to talk on curbing gender biased violence in Nigeria. The foundation (WARIF) was founded by Dr. Kemi DaSilva- Ibru in 2016 to cater for survivors of sexual abuse and rape.
” A lot of people that go through this traumatic experience because of the fear of peopl eblaming them don’t know where to find help, the foundation helps them know you can find help” -Detutu Ajibodu
Talking about rape and sexual abuse victims, Ajibodu said that
“It is heartbreaking that we see a lot of minors that have been abused by their fathers or relatives but it more heartbreaking that they know their perpetrators “.
Encouraging and empowering men and women to change the status is very essential in dealing with sexual abuse and violence. When asked about advocacy, awareness and solutions for the victims,
“I always say it takes al of us to stand up to make a change in our society. It starts with on person, one organization, one initiative to start the change. But what we have done is, come up several initiatives to reach out to different people.”
According to her, the foundation has started an initiative called, ‘The Boys Conversation Cafe’ to talk to boys in schools about being protectors. Mentors are brought to the schools to talk to boys and also to inform them on how they can be protectors and hero’s in our society.
“A lot people focus on the young girls because they are seen as the victims but what about going out to talk to the boys.” “They boys need to know being cool is not being bad”
However, WARIF has been in collaboration with the government, and is a member of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) of Lagos State which recently have currently worked with to reach out to more schools and more boys make them have a better mindset on violence in the country. WARIF will be reaching out to 400 children in four different schools. The foundation is also reaching out to the girls with the WARIF Educational school program. A difference has to be made to curb menace in Nigeria.