A young woman named Nwafor Eurel recently made a Facebook video detailing the moment she was raped in Lagos. Now her frustration lies in her claims that her predator is currently colluding with the police to prevent justice from taking place, all because he has money. Eurel’s case exemplifies one of many; people who get sexually abused/harassed on a daily basis in Nigeria and either forced to keep it quiet, or denied justice when they do speak out. It is indeed a serious situation, which is why we decided to shine the spotlight on it by asking some of our readers to share their experiences. Below are what they said-
Anonymous: Once at work, I suspected that my line manager was taking sexual advantage of some of the young women. But I had no evidence until the day I actually saw him grabbing a girl inappropriately while she protested. He later came to me to more or less threaten me not to say a word to anyone. According to him, what I saw wasn’t what it seemed. So I kept quiet and minded my business.
Six months later, the same line manager was fired after management learnt that he had behaved the same way to many other girls and even attempted to rape one of them during an official trip. Now I feel very guilty because I feel like I should have spoken out earlier.
Funbi: Sometime ago, I was at a university campus to write a professional examination when I made a disturbing discovery.
My exam was slated for 10:AM that Saturday morning, and I had gone there early so as to study a bit before it was time. Some other candidates there already by the time I arrived, and we were all sat in front of a lecturer’s office. Unknown to us, the lecturer was right there in his office with a female student. He hadn’t expected us to be there that early in the morning.
They both remained inside the office, probably hoping that we would be gone soon. But aftee we were there longer than they could bear, the lecturer opened the day and went to ease himself just as the girl walked out and fled.
Now here is the interesting part- I knew the girl. She was a friend’s relative. So when I later told my friend what I had seen, the girl was questioned and she revealed that the lecturer had threatened to make sure she would never graduate unless she let him sleep with her. And out of fear, she let him have what he wanted. Little did she know that I would be there to catch them red handed.
Anonymous: The first time I got sexually molested by my parish priest, I was courageous enough to report it to my parents. But they shut me down. They said that I was lying; that I had only imagined the whole thing in my mind which was supposedly vile. They also said that I was letting the devil use me. The abuse happened many more times and I didn’t know who to report to.
Emeka: In 2013 while at the NYSC camp, an incident happened which completely changed my perspective about sexual harassment. It was the eve of carnival, and I was at the mammy market hoping to buy some costumes. While I was there, I saw these two beautiful girls who were bent over checking out some items which they wanted to buy. And I had innocently touched one of them at the back because back then, I was fond of touching people to crave their attention. I unlearned that habit that afternoon when the girl slapped my face.
She said I was sexually harassing her by touching her without consent. The altercation was quite the scene, and at the end of the day I had to apologise to her. Ever since then, I seek consent even when it isn’t necessary.