Posted by News Express | 3 April 2016 | 3,818 times
The female students of the University of Lagos residing in Moremi Hall, last Friday, staged an awareness walk with the theme: ‘Silence Is Not Golden: A walk Against Rape’.
The exercise was graced by students, lecturers, Nollywood, music icons, activists and the media. The event, aimed at creating awareness against sexual harassment and rape, started off from Moremi Hall, the organiser of the programme.
The president of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, while addressing the rally said: “Rape is oppressive; it is forceful means of possession; and it is evil!
“Rape has destroyed lives, it has not repaired any, and it has to be stopped.
“Many promising girls have had their morals destroyed, their confidence conquered, their esteem lowered and their future destabilised.
“More so, victims would become mothers in soon future, but the trauma they got from their previous experiences of rape would also affect how they train their children. This is another way the rape experience of one person poses effects on the generation they would lead.
According to Okei-Odumakin, “Rape does not only affect the psyche of the immediate victims, it affects a generation each time it occurs. This is so, in that the victims develop an altered psychological process that affect how they relate with families, friends, associations and the general society.
“Asides from psychological distress, victims also become vulnerable to chronic, and sometimes incurable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other life threatening STI's.
“Records of unplanned pregnancies are also high from incidences of rape.”
She also admonished those in this practice of sexual harassment to desist. “We also advise the University authorities to help lives escape it by putting measures in place that check abuses and we encourage those who are currently being pestered for such abuse to stand against it, speak out and overcome it all at once.”
Nollywood Star, Mrs. Foluke Daramola Salako, said she was a survivor and when she spoke out she regained her dignity again.
She further said: “There are places where the incidence of rape is common, and so we must go to such places and address it there. One of such places is our higher institutions. University authorities must put measures in place to check mischievous male lecturers from sexually harassing female students and also discourage female students from sexually harassing their lecturers.
“It is not only unethical to base academic success/assistance on such unfair impositions; it is also unhealthy and destructive to do so.”
Mr. Michael Stephens, also known as Ruggedman, asserted that once the incident of rape happens successfully, its damaging effect is long lasting, if not ever lasting. Those who are still being pestered should speak out not, because silence is not golden.
“If you do not speak out, you imprison yourself and get disturbed all alone. Speaking out debugs your mind of the evil and gives you psychological freedom.”
Moremi Hall Mistress Unilag, Professor Virgy Onyene, said rape is evil and must be stopped!
She asserted that for those who have been victims, they must however, still speak out. With proper counseling, they will overcome the trauma and also expose rapists, thereby cutting off their chances of violating others.
Moremi Hall Chairperson, Miss Zainab Olaitan, said Silence is not golden! And we must all speak in one voice; “By saying no to rape, no to gender abuse.”
DSA UNILAG, Prof. Tunde Babawale, while appreciating the icon of the struggle also said UNILAG as never condoned impunity he stressed that student have been given the opportunity through complain unit to either drop anonymous complaints or call the Vice Chancellor, DSA, Hall Mistress and other channels in reporting sexual harassment or rape.
Furthermore, he said we must all discourage the act of rape and abuse of this precious gender.
Again, silence is not golden.
To this end, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, He thanked all that participated in the rally and finally said together, “we shall end #GenderAbuse.”
•Photo shows a cross section of celebrities identifying with the ‘Silence Is Not Golden: A walk Against Rape’ organised last Friday University of Lagos Moremi Hall residents.
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