Sexual Crimes and Why We Should Take Them Seriously

Dear World Live from The Youth Assembly UN August 2017

Once upon a time, I would always avoid getting involved in topics that are extremely sensitive so as to avoid being put under blast by people of the social media world but as I grew, I began to put myself in the shoes of the people on the receiving end of these issues and it made sense more than ever for me to get involved. Even if it was to speak about it, I was doing something.

Something I always avoided were talk of sexual crimes; rape, molestation, abuse and the likes and this was because it is closer to home than I would like.

I recently realized I have a platform and that means I should not shy away from certain discussions because, I never know who is paying attention. By speaking, writing and talking about it, I’m making an impact no matter how small.

Dear World Live from The Youth Assembly UN August 2017

This is MY story.

I was 7 or so when it happened and the encounters literally changed the dynamics of my childhood.
I had a wonderful, regular childhood up until this happened and I think in a way, it has contributed to a lot of my life choices.

In a space of some months of that year, I was abused by two men who were known by my community. Once, under the staircase in our residential block in front of his bosses door; and the other, in a garage beside our block where he eventually ended up starting a family and lives there till date. I went on to discover he had done the same to another girl in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, she was not so lucky, she got pregnant and was sent back to the village because of the ‘shame’. As for him, he went on to live a very ‘fulfilling’ life with his wife and children.

It didn’t start off this way as they both, in their own individual times, put up a very friendly front and gained the trust of everyone in the block including me and took advantage of that trust.

I blamed the members of that community who knew what had happened to the other girl and had said/ did nothing because if they had, maybe, I would have not suffered them.
Only a sick mind would see a child and feel the need to engage in sexual acts. And because of this, I have very strong opinions to what the penalty for rape and sexual crimes should be.

For the longest time, I carried a lot of anger towards them and towards myself but, I have forgiven myself and know how it is in no way my fault or the fault of all the other girls and boys that have gone through such.

I survived, thank goodness, and I will not let the actions of others towards me define who I am and what I become.

Their Story

6 out of 10 children under 18 have experienced some form of physical, emotional and sexual violence, according to the National Population Commission in Nigeria.

Child sexual abuse is one of the most traumatizing forms of violence against children, and it’s usually committed by a person in a position of power and trust in the child’s life.

Jane Augoye for Medium

Recently on twitter, there’s been a lot of table shaking where the offenders are concerned and the one that is really making waves is of the two young men who drugged and raped a girl in a hotel and ended up being released from jail thanks to their reach in ‘high places’. Funny how Nigerians and the social media community is going on about this when this happens a daily basis to girls everywhere.

Who is taking the “matter on top head” on behalf of those girls and boys? I feel we need to start conversations that will start up the wheels for change. Sexual crimes can only be eradicated if the laws guiding the penalty are revisited and modified AND from the grassroots. From the way the new generations are raised and how we allow certain conversations carry on and not wave them off as ‘boy talk/ girl talk’.

We need to start taking sexual crimes seriously because they’re happening everyday and for every scenario you hear, there are more that will stay under wraps. You don’t have to go ‘looking’ for the stories but you need to lend a voice whenever you can.

Looking for how to start? Social media is the easiest way to get involved.
Not everyone is willing to share personal stories, so movements like #MeToo make a lot of impact and help us see what is truly going on.

Dear World Live from The Youth Assembly UN August 2017

Thank you for reading this far.

What are your thoughts on sexual crimes?
Do we need to do more about it?
Let’s talk in the comment section!

If you have experienced any form of sexual crimes, there are a number of support groups that provide anonymity and closure. Or, you can start with someone you trust.

Love and light,
Uyai!

Photos courtesy of Dear World.

26 thoughts on “Sexual Crimes and Why We Should Take Them Seriously

  1. Rape is such an important topic that needs to be discussed! For the longest time, the perpetrators have gone scot free but I think now karma is around the corner. To think this people mess up the lives of young girls and go on to live fulfilling lives is amusing. And the community that would rather not talk about such ill doing is appalling. I am happy to be alive at such a time when the norm is being challenged. This rape culture has to stop and perpetrators dealt with maybe then the stats will drop.
    Enoabasi you’ve done so well writing about this. The word needs to be spread. You go girl!

    Like

    1. But the efforts of karma seem to be thwarted by man. Perpetrators in high places seem to be able to use their influence and ‘connections’ to get out of trouble.
      So far, its only Lagos State that I’ve seen that actually does something.
      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seems like we are the cause of our problems once again 🤦🏻‍♀️. But I am hopeful that rape will attract criminal charges and jail sentences that are duly served, I am hopeful that there will be enough awareness that will lead to sensitization of both young and old. I am hopeful our young girls and boys will be left to keep there innocence for as long as they will without an old dog hijacking it from them. I am hopeful! Let’s keep sharing the word!
        P.S: I am part of the stat only that he didn’t have his way.

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    2. I think for me most of my life I have had to live with the shame of certain things that had happened to me. Silence was a safe place and until I was 22 when someone whom I loved beat me blue black and raped me- I didn’t speak for 8months. What social media has done is help me realize that my silence will not save me- it didn’t save my mother nor her own mother or the women before her. It’s hard especially for women who have survived sexual abuse to even be around constant triggers/ but the work that a lot of us do in other to make this world a better place ensures that when they are ready to speak up and share their own stories that they would be believed. I have opened my mouth wide. How can I stop now?

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  2. I’ve literally always admired you, for as long as I can remember. This just tops the reasons, your strength is amazing… thanks a lot for sharing..

    I honestly feel this is a cycle, that has gone on and on. It still boils down to the parents, to build trust, strong waxed, cemented trust with their kids, and learn to read their body languages. And a lawful punishment dished out to these peadophiles, perhaps a longggggg jail sentence, but then how would you know if you child doesn’t trust you enough to tell you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I feel loved!
      It’s not always parents, like mine were the best but I don’t think I felt comfortable with what happened. You see, I had blamed myself for the longest time and felt I did something to attract that sort of attention.
      But yeah, I get your point. That happens too.

      And yes to loooonnngggg jail time for them!

      Like

  3. I personally do believe that there needs to be more conversations about sexual offenses. And that beyond social media, the culture of silence in Nigeria needs to be visited and dealt with. This culture of silence made it possible for me to be sexually abused for the bulk of my childhood and teenage years by different people because the first time I was sexual abused for 5 years straight and adults found out, nothing was done to the offender. It was swept under the carpet in the name of protecting family name. And even after I began to speak about it, I have had people attempt to shame me for speaking about it online. So yea, we need to have more conversations about this.

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    1. The culture of silence is definitely the most important thing to break and definitely the hardest too! So many evils go unpunished thanks to this. I think the worst thing that happens to survivors is when the matter gets swept under because it sends a message to those who want to be offenders. Telling them that they can get away with it.
      But no more!

      I’m terribly sorry you had to experience the rough, but still, you have risen.
      Stay strong sister!

      Like

  4. I love you so much Eno and incredibly proud that you chose to share your story. Sexual crimes are put under lock and key in our community and so we have literal sex offenders roam the streets. Until we begin to trust the abused and not look for holes in their stories and charge and punish them, they will continue to roam free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love you too Vanessa!
      We also need to stop blaming the abused and trying to come up with reasons like; their dresses being indecent, being out late etc. and show up for them.

      Thank you for reading!

      Like

  5. Wow!! I really can’t express how I feel right now because I feel strongly that I know this person, and finding out that the girl that got pregnant for him wasn’t the only victim really breaks my heart. Enoabasi, you’re the strongest person I know. Thank you so much for sharing. People really need to stop shying away from talking about this topic because we are only making the offenders more comfortable committing this crime, knowing the victims won’t say a word due to fear of stigmatization. Thank you so much for your strength. Thank you for sharing. PS: I really want to hurt that man so bad right now 😈

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    1. I’m sure you have an idea, but, that battle has ended. Don’t go looking for a fight.
      I’m sharing the story so we can all be cautious. It’s never as far from home as we think.

      Thank you for seeing the strength, it’s the only way I can survive.
      Cheers!

      Like

  6. This is very inspiring Eno. Thanks for the boldness to speak up and NO don’t be afraid of what people on the social media will say. It’s your story and you have taken the first step to #ownyourstory. I still believe he needs to be punished for his crimes. Haba!!! I wish I could even trace him right away to jail his ass.

    i stan with you on this!!!!

    Love you girl ❤️

    Like

    1. It is the hardest thing I have done for a minute. I think because it’s a light I have avoided being seen in and the very thought of being “exposed” made me feel vulnerable.
      But I have learnt, there’s a strength that comes with vulnerability and I definitely am tapped into this.

      And yes, I hope the law sits up and gets it act right in punishing offenders.

      Like

  7. It takes a lot of courage to be open about such issues and you are the embodiment of that courage and also a symbol of hope to people who feel like they have no voice. As a matter of fact we are all victims, when such thing’s happen to one of us it has happened to all of us. I stand with you girl. We need to stir up more of these conversations. The more we talk and actually do something, the better for everyone. The “don’t ask and don’t tell” lifestyle that happens in Nigeria is so devastating. We need to do more 🙌. Love always ♥️

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  8. Hmmm Eno. I am in shock that you went through this. I would have never believed it on any level.
    You are the definition of “thank God, we don’t look like what we’ve gone through”. I am amazed at your strength and how far you’ve come, with this in your past. You are a survivor.
    I believe that you have healed and if you haven’t, I hope you do. Thanks for sharing your story and being the voice for those who don’t have one.

    You are “good-peoples” and a great girl.
    Sending all my love.

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  9. I personally do not talk about sexual crime or rape because the law has no reasonable judgment for this people. So talking about it just gets me angry knowing that we live in a country where money and connections dumps the law.
    I was once sexually abused as a teenager but it didn’t get so bad because I way able to RUN and avoid the man,but I couldn’t talk to anybody about it because I felt I would have just been bombarded with questions.
    It’s not always easy to move on. I love you Eno thank you so much for sharing ✨✨

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  10. I’m happy for your growth and how you push and make yourself proud.

    Every time I talk about rape or sexual harassment. I’m termed angry or biter and sometimes I wonder why I should not be.

    Everything you wrote is apt on this article and the laws should be revisited. The future generation should not go through what we’ve gone through.

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring me.
    I love you always

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  11. Thank you Eno.
    This voice you have given is worth its weight in gold.
    I would have never believed that you went through this, on any level or how this occurrence is closer home than we think. I’m shocked.
    It’s beautiful to see how far you’ve come, even with this in your past.
    You are “good peoples” and you are a great girl. I am glad you to see that you never let any of this define you, not once.
    Cheers to healing, surviving and better legal systems.
    Sending all my love.

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  12. I can imagine how difficult it was for you to write this.

    Rape is the most vile thing someone can ever think of doing and I’m loving this emerging culture of speaking up. Even though some people still get away with it, there’s this new wave of education and information. They know that these victims can now speak up. They know that these victims will be believed. Silence doesnt help anyone. Scream so they don’t kill your daughter like they killed you.

    Thank you for sharing. We need to keep speaking on this.

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  13. It’s funny how they live their lives like nothing happened, it’s even more amusing the way they approach you the very next day or pass you by and behave like day and night wiped the event away.

    It comes in various ways and at various ages, it hinders the productivity of the abused. Most people abused by bosses in their jobs have ran away from their jobs cause of this. Sexual crimes have affected not just them but the people that were depending on them financially, they begin to ask themselves, Am I weak? Should I have stayed?. And if they stay its an endless battle in the mind.
    But the more we speak the more strengthened they become.

    Eno, love and light baby girl, I pray you continue to be an embodiment of It, you’ve shown that no one can dim it,whether he lives in a garage or not.
    Words are powerful, that’s why the laws are made up of them. I pray the laws begin to show as much passion towards this as people who are speaking up are.

    Luther King said: “I can’t make a man love me” “morality cannot be legislated”
    But, “the law CAN keep him from leaching me” “Behaviour can be Regulated ”
    Sexual crimes though committed daily by people who blocked out their consciece and discarded morals can be tamed more than 85% by the law.
    We need to do more as a nation.

    What we’ve started God will successfully see us through.
    #Our Voices can.

    Like

  14. Wow! There’s nothing like showing the world something you’ve kept in mind for a long time and doing it with all your heart for a good cause! This is an inspirational piece Enoabasi! I hope I’m able to share my story like yours one day for a good cause. It’s so saddening that the predators are usually close to home or people we trust but on the long run it’s mostly our fault. This has to stop because most families that want to hide the shame and scold the girl child for everything wrong should be arrested too! People need to understand that no mater what child abuse is child abuse and whoever is involved will be punished for it. I’ll keep praying for this country on how they enact laws relating to child abuse. Thank you very much for this peice, keep being strong, bold and beautiful! God bless you.

    Like

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