A Nigerian Child Safety Advocate and a Humanitarian, Okkuwatobi Raji Olawode, has shared her awful experiences of sexual violations.
Naija News understands that Olawode disclosed how painful, horrible and shameful her multiple rape experience was during a recent interview with Femi Stephen, a correspondent of TheseTimes.
When asked to describe her first sexual abuse experience, she said the first unforgettable incident lasted for years before she started to find healing.
She revealed: “The perpetrator was my maternal uncle. I was eight years old. My mum knew about it but she warned me not to tell anyone.”
Asked if she had ever told her mum what happened to get her uncle punished for his sins, Olawode said she was not taken to the hospital nor showed any pity. According to her, she was seen as the bad child instead.
She said: “Not at all. Instead, I was seen as the bad child who was corrupt. I didn’t get any medical treatment or psychosocial support.
I understand you were raped several times by different men. How many times and how many men? The interviewer asked Olawode.
She responded: “Yes 10 times by 10 different men. These happened to me from the time I was 13 to 19.
Disclosing how she was repeatedly raped, Olawode said; “I was homeless at some point. Some who did this were total strangers. I lost my father at an early age, while my mother travelled out of the country for greener pastures leaving us in the care of friends.
Did these incessant rapes lead you to make wrong choices in life?
“Yes, I began to see less of myself and accepted valueless individuals as acquaintances. There were moments my only solace was in alcohol and smoking.
“I am still healing. I started undergoing psychosocial support which helped my healing process. My ex- introduced me to his doctor who referred me to a psychologist. Well, I do not do this often, only when I am down which I have longed to stop with the help of God.
What is your advice for sexually abused women?
“My word is, there is a lot in life to achieve and victories to be won. Forget the past and move on. This can be quite difficult at the start but you can. Engage more in positive discussions, make valuable friends and visit places of interest.
How can parents and society help to fight the scourge of sexual abuse and rape?
“Parents and guardians have a huge role to play but unfortunately they also share in the guilt. Parents should educate their children early enough. They should let them have sex education and teach preventive measures for sexual abuse. Also, when it happens, the alleged perpetrator must be held responsible. And such must not be covered, regardless of who is involved,” said Olawode while admonishing parents to fight sexual abuse in society.