COVID-19: Supporting SGBV Survivors During A Pandemic

The year 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year, more so for victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Nigeria who have had to deal with the impact of two pandemics; COVID-19 and SGBV.

In May, Uwa was brutally raped in a church in Benin, the gruesome attack led to her death. Barakat Bello was raped and killed in her home in June; and Grace Oshiagwu was raped and killed in Ibadan.

Freedom

17 years ago I got married for the second time. We were blessed with a warm, crisp and sunny Autumn day and were surrounded by family and friends in the small country house hotel we had exclusive use of for the event.

Little did I know then what experiences that marriage would bring me. I’d been married before to a physically and sexually abusive man who had beat me up for the first time on our wedding night. I was adamant that my second marriage would be for life.

Older Women: The Hidden Victims Of Gender-Based Violence

GBV is a growing problem among older couples, women of age 50+ but it is not always taken seriously. So, they suffer in silence. It is rampant but mostly hidden because most victims fear reporting. This scenario is as a result of cultural, and social factors and norms, fear and embarrassment to ask for help, and the belief that the menace affects mostly the young women.

Let’s talk about sexual violence…

Sexual violence is among the most damaging crimes a person can inflict on another. The effects can be devastating, often involving life – changing consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, mental and physical problems, sexually transmitted infections, and sleep and eating disorders.

Sadly, accurate information about the extent of sexual violence is difficult to obtain because most of these crimes are seriously under-reported to law enforcement.