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Wana Udobang Profiles Rape Victims and the Mirabel Rape Crisis Centre for Al Jazeera

BellaNaija.com

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wana-1This week, Nigerian media personality, Wana Udobang shared an insightful feature about Nigerian rape victims on Al Jazeera. She wrote about her visit to the Mirabel Rape Crisis Centre, located within the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital premises.

Wana is shown around the premises by the manager of the centre, as well as the resident counsellor – Juliet and Joy. They share some of the stories of some of the rape victims with Wana.

We’ll share some excerpts of the piece below; but you can read the entire feature HERE ON AL JAZEERA.

Mercy’s Story

Then Mercy begins to recount her story.

She was six years old when it happened and living in Benue state, in the north central region of the country.

One day she returned from school with three friends. A 17-year-old male cousin had been harassing her, and that night he brought four other men to the house. For Mercy, everything from the moment he began to rape her is a blur.

Her next memory is of waking up in the hospital the following day, and being told what had happened.

All of the girls were raped, possibly multiple times by more than one of the attackers, but Mercy does not know for sure because she blacked out. One of her friends did not survive; another died last year as a result of the injuries she sustained on that night. Mercy and one other girl are now the only survivors.

She had to leave school because of the fistula that developed resulting from the attack. Doctors had told her that she was too young to undergo the restorative surgery known as VVF. And, unable to afford adult diapers, she must rely on cloth to soak up the waste that leaks from her.

“The thing [the fistula] always disgraces me,” she says

***

Nike’s story

Nike has sickle cell disease and a bad hip. She was on her way to a job interview in March when she asked a man for directions. She was clearly in pain and limping, and the man urged Nike to let him drive her to where she was going. He explained that there was barely any public transportation in the neighbourhood and that he could see she was having difficulty walking.

Then he drove her to a secluded area.

“He started threatening me and beating me,” she says.

The man raped her in his car and then dropped her in front of a church. From there she found her way to where she was due to be interviewed. But, once inside, she broke down. The owner of the company brought her to the centre.

Nike has pressed charges but her attacker, who it emerged was a serial rapist, has gone missing. She says the police must have given his parents her contact details as they turned up at her home, begging her to drop the charges and offering her financial compensation for doing so – although no particular sum was mentioned. Now she feels unsafe where she lives and wants to move.

Read more HERE

Mirabel Centre is currently run by a group called Partnership for Justice and receives funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), which ends this year. A group of concerned people have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to keep the Mirabel Rape Crisis Centre open. {Click here to find out how to help}

The work being done there is impressive and we hope that one day we can eradicate the scourge of rape in our society.

13 Comments

  1. therealerniemac

    September 8, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    choi!! i didn’t read one line of the article,all i saw were those lovely eyes and endless choclate skin.hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,lovely
    BN why didn’t you take a full frontal? or you want a tantrum throwing individual on your hands?
    update her pictures please,lemme get some eye candy..she’s my type,you know…….

    • Tari

      September 10, 2015 at 2:27 am

      I hear she is taken.
      Now go back and read the article.

    • adey

      September 10, 2015 at 6:21 am

      A go fund me page? I know for a fact that the Lagos State Ministry of Justice sends rape victims to Mirabel Centre. So why crowd source funds? It is safe to say that in this country we are our own government!

  2. Chloe Chidi

    September 8, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    These stories are so heartbreaking!! I was moved to tears!

    I have always pitied rape victims because I understood the psychological effects attached to it; however, I never knew that one could die from the injuries sustained. I never knew the full effect of rape until now and my heart is broken even more!

    This is why I don’t talk to Nigerian “uncles”!

    Being a naive child, whenever a Nigeria uncle called me, I would go over to them. I thought they were just being nice and just wanted to talk to me and ask how I was doing in school. Looking back at it now, I now know that they always had ulterior motives. The look in their eyes, the way they would touch me and tell me to sit on their laps, and the smirks on their faces just makes me want to rip myself up whenever I look back on how naive I was. If I wasn’t always around my dad whenever we went on holiday to Nigeria, God knows what would have happened to me. My blood uncle even forced his lips on mine once!!

    I know the abuse that I went through does not amount to what these women have gone through but it boils my blood!

    Whenever a Nigerian “uncle” calls me, it takes everything in me not to destroy them right there and then. I blatantly ignore them and make it clear to EVERYONE that I have no interest in talking to them. The way I treat them, one would say is harsh but I suffer from the psychological effects of their abuse; therefore, little I do to them is NOT ENOUGH!
    If I wasn’t a child of God….

    I’m so moved by the stories!

    Their abusers will face justice for their sins! God punish every man that has a sick and impure thought about raping a woman!

    I pray God will strengthen the women and allow their stories to stand as testimonies and to educate other women.

    This topic is very close to my heart…

  3. ZeeZee

    September 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    God be with these women. Father Lord, I pray you comfort them in their time of need.

    They are so young!!

    It’s heartbreaking :'( :'(

  4. halyma

    September 8, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    The stories keep getting scarier and scarier by the day!

  5. womeninspiredblog

    September 8, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Our laws don’t do justice to rape, our mentality don’t do justice either, our traditions are a far cry, the societies stigma tops it all. Why does it have to be women on the receiving end? We need an overhaul

  6. mrs chidukane

    September 9, 2015 at 12:02 am

    This is so heartbreaking. This is really bad. Why are some men like this? So depressing.

  7. Nosa

    September 9, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Just as they have done to these women. So shall they meet their own faith Double.

  8. ebere

    September 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    The stories are heart wrenching they are sooo young!!…I pray they get more sponsor before DFID leaves…well done Wana for bringing this to the fore

    • Tari

      September 10, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Enough praying. Go to the linked page and make a token donation. Every kobo counts.

  9. Bee

    September 9, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you Wana! For this work you are doing! You remind me of ‘Mira’ in the movie #CodeOfSilence who fought doggedly for rape victim Adanma. Thanks for your work. God will surely strenghthen you and see you through.

  10. Tessa Doghor

    December 25, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Great article
    So few comments but then the movie did say, “code of silence”.
    I have pointed two people at the Mirabel Center.
    I am the voice of change, I stay believing that there is/are other voices who will bring change to this our nation and the world at large.

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