It was a normal busy day for me, and earlier today I was at a bus station what we call “motor park”. Now, I’d like you to take a moment here to think and picture a typical Nigeria motor park, and incase you don’t know what the motor park here in Nigeria looks like, it’s a place full of men and in most cases these men are high on drugs, you also get to meet people who pickpocket etc. In a nutshell it is a can be termed as a dangerous place especially for women. That environment is not safe or secure for a girl child.
I wasn’t the one traveling, I was only an escort, then I stood looking around and patiently waiting for the first bus to take off. I saw alot of females roaming about, some are of my age, and some less than my age, I kept on wondering what life in this environment is like for them. Some of them are hawkers, while some work with the bus owners. I Kept looking around and some men playing roughly with some of these girls.
Then I saw a lady, she walked pass me, looking into her eyes I saw pure fear and sadness clearly defined on her face, I was really touched and wanted to talk to her badly, but I didn’t I kept on following her around with my eyes, trying to define what I saw in her eyes. She was stopped by a man who looks high on drugs, and he was looking at her with the worst dirty look I’ve ever seen, I felt disgust, but keep watching to hear what he has to say.
He started threatening her, because they had their issues only Allah knows, but believe me his words made my bones shiver. He started with something like “you’ll be the first person I’ll stab with a knife and use you as a scapegoat anytime you get me this…….” I promise you won’t want to know rest. I was completely weak, and the only thing that escaped my lips was Alhamdulillah!
Alhamdulillah was the only thing I could find in my heart, because subhanallah! The kind of dangers this girls are exposed to, is way beyond what our mind can carry. Let me give you another incident of 12years old child.
True life story:
This girl child hawks on the Street from morning to night just to sell groundnut worth 300naira. Now, that’s not the disheartening part! If this child mistakenly goes back home without selling all the groundnut, she gets beaten bitterly.This is the case everyday, sometimes she sells all and sometimes she just have to accept the fact that she will be beaten.
A day came where she couldn’t sell any of the groundnut, and she sat crying beside an uncompleted building, a man approached her and asked what was wrong with her, she narrated everything to him in search of hope, this man offered to help under the condition that him and his friends Making six of them would have **** her at the rate of 50naira each, out of fear of what she would face at home she agreed. And the 12years old girl child was used by 6men for 300Naira. And It was a case that took almost forever to be solved.
We receive alot of cases like this everyday, and yet cases like these are happening and hiden from the society, out of fear.
Types of violence women and children faces are:
- Child abuse.
- Child/adult rape.
- Spouse beating.
- Psychological abuse.
- Human trafficking.
- Polygamy conflict.
- Sexual slavery.
- Sexual harrasment.
- Genderbased human right.
- And the list goes on.
But who are the culprits or perpetrators? We need to identify them, they are:
- Drug dealers.
- Our Community members.
- Keke driver.
- Store owner.
- Itcould be the parent, ( we’ve seen so in most cases).
- The Husband.
- Water seller.
- Infact they are everywhere.
And the type of responses and attention this cases are given is something I won’t mention, a man that has raped over 30girls, is still roaming freely on the Street, sleeping more peaceful than you, and am sure you understand this point. Wallahy it’s painful, and bring tears to the eyes.
Am not sharing all this with you to make you feel sad, or pity them for a moment and go back to your normal life, I want this to awake the spirit in you. We are clothed, we have a roof above our heads, we have food to put on the table, we have latest phones, etc. And all we ever care for and get worried for is not having what that person have. Its time you realise the blessings you’re living in, because been protected from this dangers alone , should be enough reason for you to be content with what ever type of life you're living.
when it comes to violence against women and young girls, we are all stakeholders.
For how long do we think we can keep pretending like it’s not happening? How long should we keep waiting for the government to take action? What have you done on your own personal level? You know these culprits or perpetrators within your communities, and the government doesn’t, if you don’t speak against them how will our problems be solved?
Are you still watching peacefully because none of your relative is touched? Then you should know,: That girl raped today, that woman killed yesterday, those children abducted and so on. If we keep ignoring tomorrow it’ll be our sisters, mothers, wives, aunts, cousins etc.
This is a wake-up call, think of something you can do on your own personal level, stop waiting for the government. To eradicate this we need women participation in peace building and collaboration between other initiatives that reduce violence against women and girls.
So let’s think and work together for a better tomorrow. And May Allah protect our sisters across the globe.