The THR Media, a new media and technology company joined her voice in commemorating the #16daysofactivisim with her maiden edition of a symposium themed‘HERfessions– Proffering Solutions to Sexual Gender Based Violence’. Stakeholders and experts who work with women and girls from around the country gathered to discuss ways to fight the menace of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
Amongst the panel of discussants were, Dr. Gbonjubola Babalola Abiri (a certified psychiatrist), Olayinka Adeyemi (Director, Office of the Public Defender), Dr. Perpetua Mbanefo, (a medical doctor and abuse survivor), Olufunmilayo Akinlami ( a Child Protection Expert), Bose Ironsi (Founder, Women’s Rights And Health Project) with Simi Olusola (Founder, Aspilos Foundation ) as moderator.
Highlighting the problems or reasons for abuse, it was noted that most of the women who are abused are put under the unrealistic pressure of being told the success of their home rests on them and they must do everything in their power to keep that home even if it means keeping quiet.
Adeyemi made a striking statement, she said: “In most situations, mediation never works.” She says it is better to leave that environment entirely and let the law work on your behalf. She lamented the fact that spousal abuse is still a crime against an individual, not the state, and so victims are bullied by their ‘loved ones’ to protect their abusers.
Sharing her story, Dr. Mbanefo said despite her education and various certifications, she was ignorant of her rights and it took her going to the gender-focused organizations and getting the right information that empowered her to leave. She said it wasn’t enough to speak up but to speak to the right people. She explained how threats to disown her by her parents and her husband’s threats to keep her children away from her kept her trapped. All these problems were solved by getting the right information.
Proffering solutions, Dr. Gbonjubola advised that children should be taught the value of self-worth from a young age. She went on to talk about the importance of teaching girls confidence and boys respect and value for women. That we must be empathic to the plight of the victims and do away with the judging attitudes. That we must continue to raise awareness and break the belief that spousal abuse is a norm in Nigeria because it is not.
In line with this call, THR Media has launched a mobile app, Herfessions, which provides an anonymous platform designed to enable support to victims and survivors (of SGBV); ensuring that any woman requiring assistance will be able to reach the requisite support, access relief, and would be provided with the education and tools necessary to heal and thrive. Osasu Paul-Azino, the curator/Founder explained that the mobile app has the ability to map the resources available to women experiencing violence, build a community of support, and also provide anonymity. It will be a mobile and virtual ecosystem of collaborative agencies that will provide legal aid, vocational/educational, health, psycho-social support, shelter, feeding, and government enforcement agencies. It is currently available for download on Google Play store. She encourages women to speak up and find help, all the things the Herfessions app can provide.
To download the mobile app, click here.
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