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In my last blog post, I got a reader post a comment encouraging women to be in solidarity. She mentioned that the ‘16 days of activism opposing violence against women and girls’ begins on the 25th of November and she concluded, ‘Let’s hold our sisters up instead of pulling them down’. Of course, 25th November marks the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women and girls’.

The United Nation websites, described the violence against women as, ‘one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today.’ Evidently, women are often the victims of intentional homicide worldwide, victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), sexual violence and psychological abuse. These forms of violence are perpetrated by intimate partners and family members. Although there has been documentation about violence against men, it is nothing to write home about when compared to the violence against women. Since the 25th of November is a day marked out to promote awareness on the violence against women, I intend to focus on this area without undermining the experiences of men in the same situation of violence.

Domestic violence is prevalent in Nigeria. It involves verbal intimidation, physical violence, sexual violence and emotional abuse. Most women and girls are in the situation of violence irrespective of their tribes, educational and financial status. Unfortunately, most women remained in abusive relationship for various reasons. It appears the society promotes the culture of silence, which means that a woman in violent situations cannot share their experiences with friends and family without some form of repercussions. Take for instance, a Nigerian woman who narrates her ordeal will immediately be accused of being stubborn, disrespectful and disloyal. Some would blame her for nagging and lacking humility. The said woman would experience social exclusion as a result; there would be stigma attached to her as a troublesome wife. It might interest you that most of the stigma and name shaming would come from other women within the women circle. Other women would be the first to make fun of the woman and use the information against her. It is shameful that as Nigerian women with similar experience, we cannot share our experiences as sisters without being stigmatised or gossiped about by our own circle. It doesn’t have to be like this. As women, we should be able to share our experiences with other women and receive support.

Today, as I promote the awareness of violence against women, I am calling every woman out, stop acting the part of the ‘oppressed oppressing others’, stop playing the gatekeepers of traditional norms and cultures that promote violence against women. Support any woman who come to you for support when in situation of violence, do not send them away with more blames. Listen to each other, no body intentionally chose to be in a situation of violence. Remember, it might be her today but tomorrow, it might be you. No one is above negative experience. please, let us hold our sisters up instead of pulling them down.

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  1. This was very motivating! I have had horrible experiences being shamed by young and older women. When the memories of their hurtful words come to my mind I can still feel the shame of my inadequacies at these times in my life. Then I snap out of it by remembering that I wouldn’t have dared say those nasty comments to others. Let alone someone I knew was already down and/or trying to grow up. This reminds me that their mean reaction was not an indictment against me, rather an indictment against them.

    I want to encourage all women to surround yourself with positive people who care about you. Surround yourself with these people before you need a shoulder to cry on. Don’t worry if they aren’t your age, race or gender. Are they good? Are they decent? Are they mindful of there words and actions and how they make others feel? These are the people to get to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done Maria, I did not know you have a blog on this important subject… the Whatsapp did not do a good job on the message. Thank you.


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