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Blog My Clear Mind

Guilty Mom-Wife

‘Guilty mom-wife’, those were the words Jane’s friend said to her when she tried so hard to make her feel bad for being a career woman. guilty-mom-wife-what would you say to Jane?

What would you say to Jane, as those words plagued at her heart? Is she really a guilty mom-wife who denies her husband and kids of certain pleasure in choosing to pursue her dreams?

Coming into the house, Jane collapsed into her favourtie couch in her home. Taking off her shoes and kicking off her heels, she folds up her sleeves, ties her braids hair into a ponytail. Getting up, she walks to the fridge, scanning through, trying to figure out what to make for supper. Today was one of those days she does not get to have the luxury of time to catch her breath before going from boardroom Jane to mom-wife Jane.

Upstairs, she could hear her husband trying to convince their four-year old son to finish changing into his nightwear, before going down to say “hi to mummy”. Unlike her husband- John, Jane does not enjoy the luxury of flexible work hours. Perks you get for being your own boss. But it is a blessing as John helps pick some of the balls she has to juggle as dictated by the shackles of culture and tradition.

She enjoys her work as a policy consultant with the government, she also loves her mentorship group with ladies and teenagers she runs on weekends, but more than those, she loves being a wife and being a mom to her two little kids. Some might say she has a pretty good life, well balanced, with well-behaved kids and an amazing husband.

Why then does she feel so disappointed in herself sometimes, almost as if she feels guilty for having this amazing life, and for choosing to share herself with the world, to live for more than herself. To live purposefully? Is she really a ‘guilty-mom-wife’? What does that even mean?!

It does not help either that her friends and family make comments that add to this feeling of guilt, of not being enough for her kids and husband. Just when she thought she had heard it all, it did not help that her friend made a cruel joke about ‘being there to take over the care of her husband and kids, when he got rid of her’. In her friend’s words “no man likes a woman who has it all put together, so stop being this super woman, because if he gets bored and leaves you, I will be here to give him all the fun he wants and as a good friend, take care of your kids”.

Of course, she got rid of that friend- oh no, not the kind of ‘rid’ you are thinking about- like she stopped being friends…just focus please, will you? Thank you! So back to Jane, she stopped being friends with that lady, but the words have not left her. Is she really a bore for wanting to do the things she loves? Is her husband really not happy but just masks it? Do her kids really have more to lose than gain?

Is there really a cost to a woman wanting to be the best version of herself? To contribute to her home financially, and ease the burden on her husband so they can both have the life they want with each other and their kids? Could there really be something she is missing? What do men want, materialistic dependent ladies, or women who truly know their onions and are unafraid to pursue their dreams? If tables were turned, the expectation is for the wife to fully support her husband.

So if two truly becomes one, why can’t the husband support his wife’s dream, especially where there is no conflict like in her and John’s case? Even if there was conflict, can’t two matured adults talk through their dreams and aspirations and come to an agreement of how to make it work? Jane was getting tensed as she thought of her friend who has lost a sense of purpose in the name of ‘supporting her husband’s dream. “Who made these rules anyway?” Jane muttered under her breath as she pulls out a sizzling baking whole chicken from the oven.

My husband and kids are well fed and taken care of, Jane thought to herself. Given, she does not always cook as often as some other mothers, nor does she clean personally all the time. Considering she makes enough to pay for certain services other women do as chores and feel like the supermoms of the 21st century, she didn’t think it mattered if she personally did these things, as long as they were taken care of. If someone thought otherwise, that is not on her, it is on them for leaving their brains in the 1st century. Besides, her husband always reminds her that he is with her hundred per cent. So who cares what anyone else thinks? Right?!

Jane walks over to the dining, setting down a fresh baked whole chicken from the oven. “Honey, kids, dinner is ready”, she yells as she sets down the rice and peppered sauce plus a bowl of salad. She steps back to take a look at her work (did I mention she does love to cook fresh meals for her family?), she smiled very brightly as her husband and kids walk down the stairs, kids already in their sleepwear, giggling on the shoulders of John.

As she hugs them, she can’t help but think that she truly has a good life, and her husband and kids are part of the reason she strives to live purposefully. She reminds herself of why she does the things she does. So once again, as every other time in the last three years, she convinces herself to make peace with her choices.

Guilty mom-wife? Is that even a thing? Who made the rules? Who said she couldn’t? Jane wants to meet with them, perhaps it’s time for a little mind-shift. What say you?

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Blog CSA Survivors Corner

What if you could take a peek into the Future….

The Adult Life of A Sexually Abused Child

What if you could take a peek into the future to see what the adult life of a sexually abused child look like?

Well you can. But today I will not be sharing my story. I will be sharing someone else’s. You know yourself and I want to say thank you for sharing!

But before I share the pictures of this comment, let me first say this: the impact of child abuse manifests in so many ways in the life of the abused, and can oftentimes follow them years into adulthood if not properly dealt with through counselling and therapy. And so it is very common to see things such as:

  1. Promiscuity/heightened sexual desire
  2. Anger/bitterness/fear
  3. Addiction: could be to drugs, sex, pornography
  4. Depression/Feelings of suicide/just plain suicide
  5. Lack of interest in sex/fear of sex
  6. Detest for the opposite sex/marriage
  7. Hallucinations/panic attack/flashbacks/trance of the event
  8. Homosexuality (This can either be a woman hating men so much she chooses to have sexual relations with same sex. Or if the abuse was from a person of same sex, it creates a desire for same sex relations). This is may seem hard to believe but lot more common than you may think or realize
  9. Paranoia/hostility/aggression
  10. Tendency to abuse others

Trust me when I say this is not an extensive list. There are physical side effects too, and yes- SPIRITUAL too. I can’t tell you how many deliverance sessions I attended. LOL. It actually feels funny now, saying it.

Next time someone tells you they have been sexually abused before, think of these and many more. How does that not trigger compassion in you towards them? Simply saying “get over it” or “it is well” or blurting out “just pray” may mean well, but does not help.

So, what does this list look like in the life of an actual human being? See below.

peek into the adult life of a sexually abused child. Did I mention there is also the tendency to pick abusive partners?
ha, the feelings of deadness and lack of willingness to do anything..
the feeling of loneliness, like no one would understand, but God….
this part here broke my heart. All 5 sisters in one family! This is how prevalent it is yet we are strangely SILENT about it
Truly a non-judgmental spirit is needed to view and support one another. Younger people need our help, not our judgement
I am so glad this story ended this way, sadly, this is not the reality for a lot of people who have been through sexual ause/rape
I mean this to everyone once sexually abused. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!! And I am sorry it happened to you and I, but it does not have to define you!

This is why I share. Why I had to find my voice, to help you find yours, and it starts with breaking the silence, that is how we can undo the culture of silence and take back our lives.

You are an OVERCOMER and believe me when I say you can live and rise above your experiences! Thanks again V.I for sharing your story with me and the world, I do not take it lightly.

How will you be of support to someone you have identified as once raped or sexually abused? Now that you know what their lives or future COULD be?

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Blog My Clear Mind Survivors Corner UnderstandTEEN-YOUTH

From Suicide to Purpose: The Day I ‘Died’

Going from suicide to purpose on the day I ‘died’, I found life. I had just been stood up by my boyfriend at the time. He said he was too sick to go to class to read, I offered to cook him something and send to his room, he declined.

I had exams in two days, so I decided to go study on my own. At seventeen, I was in my first year of school. My academics was my safe place, I did it right and never joked with it. Off I went to one of the classrooms in the famous Obafemi Awolowo University and guess who I found getting cozy with his ex-girlfriend or so he claimed?

Just a Trigger

I know what you are thinking, you wanted to kill yourself because of a guy! Nah, it was not about him. Been suicidal since I was about eleven (11). Nothing helped, I lost weight, had good grades, pretty (still very pretty), had tons of family around me, drank, smoked, but felt empty. He was just a trigger!

I had cut myself a number of times, I had held a knife to my belly so many times. Once, I took overdose of a drug. There was fantasies about a car hitting me off the road. So much so, I did sometimes intentionally walk into the road in hopes….Each time, I either could not follow through or something interrupted me.

Now that we have established it was not about a boy, can we move on? So, seeing him cozy with this girl, I dialed him up. He picked and was murmuring, saying he was cold and wished I was there, they both laughed, and that laughter felt familiar.

It was not the first time someone had made fun of my naivety and gullibility. Yet somehow, the brightest idea I had of how to not let that happen again was to end my life.

I Just Want it all to End

I remember crying so hard, I ripped the chain I had on from my neck. It felt like my heart wanted to pop out of my chest, I honestly thought I was going to die from a heart attack, well that did not happen!

I walked from one end of school to another, in search of ‘otapiapia’ (a drug used to kill rats) at about 2am. They were all closed, except for one where this man took one look at me and blurted out “I am not selling to you my dear, go to your room and sleep and come back tomorrow. Bless that man!

To my room I went indeed, but not to sleep. I cried some more, pulled out a knife, put it to my belly, about to stab, when a thought hit me: “you know it won’t be fair for your roommates to find you in a pool of blood when they wake up”.

Taking a deep sigh, I put the knife down, and for the fist time pulled out my Bible. I hated God because as far as I was concerned, my horrible experiences were His fault. But that day, I prayed: “Dear God, I don’t know if you are real or there, but if you are, all I want is for you to make sure I do not wake up in the morning”.

Hugging my Bible, I slept off. Soon enough, I woke up to the sound of busyness in the room. Recalling what happened, I blurted out “God you are a coward who won’t let me come up to you” (do not ask me what I was expecting to happen when if I indeed died). In an attempt to roll over, my Bible fell and opened up. Without trying to read it, my eyes fell to a verse.

suicide to purpose
Source: https://bibleversestogo.com/

The Waking….

It was as if God responded to me saying “if only you knew what I had in store for you”. Then I saw Dupe Akinsiun (nee Osho) walking towards my room as she usually did every Sunday morning to invite me to ‘cell’. This time, I did not run out the back door. She doesn’t know, sssshhhh, don’t tell her!

Holding my Bible, I followed her without fight or questions, this same verse was read during the cell meeting, and later that day at church. That day I gave my life to Jesus Christ, dying to self, I was raised to life.

See I started that day wanting physical death so badly, but the reality of my spiritual death hit me. It hurts me that I do not remember the exact date, but it remains to me the day I went from suicide to purpose. I found a new reason to live as I hope someone out there today does as well.

The things we go through sometimes feels unfair, and I get it. But, do not let anything get you to the point of your ending your life. You may not have heard God for yourself yet, or maybe you have, but let me be His voice to you: “if only you knew what is in store for you”.

Looking back, people would have said I killed myself over a guy, who by the way never knew what happened. But I am so glad I am here today to share this, and perhaps let you know you are not alone. Hope it help you see that in depression, suicidal thoughts, you too can find purpose and life. YOU are part of my purpose and why I started LoudSilences.org.

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Blog Survivors Corner

Here Are 5 Things YOU Can Do To End Rape Culture

There a number of things YOU can do to end rape culture. Yes YOU (male, female, mother, father, single, married, teenager, young adult, student, worker etc.). Today, we will focus on 5 things YOU can do to end rape culture.

To change anything systemic, including rape culture, you have to apply systemic strategies to dealing with them on a holistic level. This would mean preventive measures (actions you can take to NOT allow rape happen), education and awareness measures (learning about rape, its impact, learning for signs). A good example of this is learning about Child Sexual Abuse, which I wrote about.

Let us not forget legislation (could serve as preventive measure or corrective measure). The sad reality is that, when this piece is missing, it makes it really hard. But we can deal with this another time.

Five (5) things YOU Can Do to End Rape Menace
Be part of the solution to end rape culture

Educate Yourself: Truthfully, if you have not experienced it first hand, or seen someone you know and love impacted, it can be difficult to relate. Some people who seem to appear as ‘rape apologists’, I choose at this time to make the argument of IGNORANCE for you, but hey, who says you have to remain ignorant? So learn about this menace, the pain it causes, the impact it leaves and the way it can silence the voice of its victims for life. Not sure how/where to start? How about Wikipedia Who knew it was that easy to get information? Shocker!

Speak up/Speak Out: See something that is not right, speak! Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, most victims have already been silenced by the pain, they need YOU in their corner to help end the rape culture. If as a parent you see another family member abusing your child or someone’s else, do not keep silent, in a bid to protect them. By law, that actually makes you an accomplice! Sensing something off, probably means something wrong, so, speak out, speak up!

Educate Others: We need to educate little kids about their body parts, and how to speak up, when compromised. Let your kids be safe with you indeed! Educate boys on the need to respect girls. Enlighten teens on the need to create boundaries. Teach girls on how to avoid compromising positions, wrong friends, and building self-confidence. According to my friend Daniel Olabintan of Karibs Foundation, if need be, teach the girl child self-defense. When you have educated yourself, and you see a rape apologist, you can join in educating them.

Stop Stigmatization: If we are serious about ending the rape culture, we really have to stop ‘casting stones at victims’ and trying to explain how the ‘victim’ may have caused the mayhem on themselves. You know what that makes you? A rape apologist. If you have nothing to say, then say nothing. But by all means, do not psychologically rape an already physically raped person. Show compassion!

Join the Fight: No, you do not have to pick up placards. Doing all the above is part of ‘joining the fight’. But maybe you can do just tad bit more. In a moment like recent events, the least you can do is share a hashtag, reiterate your commitment to end the rape culture by reaching out to organizations at the front lines of this ‘war’. Donate to the organizations, share their researches. And yes, if there are marches, and you can, join in.

Below are some of the events that took place in a one-week space:

These events continue to strengthen the rape culture if not dealt with. Remember, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”– Andrew Marshall

Feature Image Photo Credits: Philly Voice

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Blog CSA Survivors Corner

CSA – Meaning, Signs & Effects

In my last post on CSA & Your Child I promised to help us understand what CSA means. In this post, we will explore the meaning, signs and effects of CSA.

What is CSA?

It is an acronym that stands for Child Sexual Abuse, and in plain English, it would mean ‘abusing a child sexually, i.e. having or expressing any form of action/relationship towards a child of a sexual nature’.

WHO Definition of CSA
Source: World Health Organization

With CSA, people are more familiar with touching acts (such as touching a child’s private parts or making the child touch the adult), than non-touching acts. However, both can be as dangerous. So here are some non-touching acts:

  • Exposing genitals to a child
  • Making the child watch porn or inappropriate videos
  • Having kids watch or listen to adults having sex
  • Taking and sharing nudes of a child
  • Watching a child inappropriately while dressing or in the bathroom
  • Encouraging kids to touch each other inappropriately

Some Tell-Signs of an Abused Child?

Ever wondered why your child suddenly does not want to be left alone with ‘Uncle X’ or ‘Aunty Y’? Or perhaps they have become suddenly disrespectful towards a particular adult? They may be tell-signs.

I have had parents often express concerns about their kids who display inappropriate sexualized behaviours, but refuse to come to terms with the sad reality that perhaps, it is an indication of a larger problem. Sexually abused children often show physical and behavioural signs, research has shown.

Signs of CSA
Source: World Health Organization

As a general rule of thumb, if you feel uncomfortable with an adult around your or someone else’s child, feel free to speak to the child (if they are yours) or to their parent. Get that feel of ‘something’s not right’? It probably isn’t.

What if a Child Reports CSA to Me?

DO’s

  • Let them know you believe them and reassure them it is not their fault
  • If they are NOT your kids, get their parents involved if safe to do so (unless the child reports a parent as the perpetrator)
  • Gather the facts- ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS. Get as much information as possible such as where, when, who, how?
  • Take them to see a Doctor.
  • Involve Law Enforcement and Child Protective services (where available)
  • Show love and support
  • Seek professional help/counselling for them

DO NOT

  • Get angry, yell or show frustration
  • Tell the child it was something THEY DID
  • Ask leading questions.
  • Tell the child to ‘tell no one’ or promise to do so yourself
  • Invite the adult and make the child retell their story (Yes, this happened to me, of course, I didn’t share again- story for another day)
  • Pretend like nothing happened

Side Effects of CSA

From research and my personal experience, I do know that the effects of CSA can follow a child into adulthood, and each child can express different things on any end of the spectrum, at different times. A key factor I experienced was LACK of TRUST for authority figures and a number of things in the diagram below including being suicidal.

Side Effects of CSA. These can follow the child into adulthood
Credits: Cynthia Saver

Why Should YOU Care?

CSA can happen to any child under the most scrutiny. This if often because research has shown that 90% of perpetrators are known to the child and 68% are often family members. Do you know that during this COVID-19 lock-down there has been a lot of news on incest related sexual abuse cases. Mostly from older male family members to younger females. The mistake starts from not paying attention enough because we often think ‘our kids are in safe hands’.

We should also care because when we understand what CSA is, and how it can impact a person for rest of their lives, we empower ourselves with the right knowledge to do something about it.

You should care because YOUR Child or a Child you know and love may be going through this silently. I hear you say “God forbid”, to which I say “Amen”. But a little learning and vigilance added to that prayer would do a lot of good, don’t you think?

We don’t all have to experience it to fight against it. It must be a collective responsibility to protect our children.

I not only want to help create awareness for protecting children, but also empower adults once abused to rise above. As an adult dealing with past event of CSA, you may still need professional help or counselling, so seek help if need be.

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CSA Survivors Corner

CSA & Your Child

Intro…

All too often there are cases of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), all over the world including our dear Nigeria. More rampant than we would like to admit, yet children suffer. Unfortunately perpetrators often go unpunished and sometimes unnoticed. From clergymen, to neighbours, family members and even sometimes, parents unleash this evil on children.

According to a UNICEF report, ” one in four girls and 10 per cent of boys have been victims of sexual violence” in Nigeria. What is sad is most people have these things happening in their homes, whether or no they are aware, is an entirely different story.

The story below is a depiction of common experiences faced by children and their families in this regard.

The Story

John!, Ah John, you have killed me! Aunty Jumi cried. “My own brother, ah!” Peace drove in silence. Through the rear-view mirror, she took a quick glance at her neighbour Aunty Jumi, carrying her three-year old daughter- Sade. Sade was just rescued from John forcing himself sexually on her. Turned out before this day, John had been using his fingers to molest the girl.

source: campaignliveus
source: campaignliveus

Aunty Jumi sat in the back of the car, almost unafraid to move. It all started to make sense to her now: the way Sade flinched when she tried to wash the girl’s vagina. The way the girl would cry so much whenever she was going out and leaving her alone with her uncle. Sade had become much more quiet in recent weeks. “How could my own brother do this to me?”, she muttered under her breath.

John had left their home state- Ogun to come live with his big sister. He recently got a job at one of Lagos’ top investment banks, he was to start the week COVID-19 lock-down began. He always seemed to mind his business, but played so well with the kids in the compound. Which was why this came as a shock to not just her, but everyone. That John would molest a three-year old, much worse his own niece.

Peace shuddered as she pulled into the hospital’s driveway. She brought her mind back to the present, getting out to help Aunty Jumi and Sade. Settling into the waiting area couch, she wondered what would become of this dear three-year-old, whose life has been impacted forever. She could not get the image of the bleeding girl out of her mind, it was a painful sight! And the screams, Peace shivered! “God please let her be okay”, she prayed silently.

Fact….

Source: A Strong Nigerian Woman

Perhaps Few Examples…

I get it that we cannot always be paranoid, nor can we always have eyes on our kids, but can we at least agree that we live in a very wicked world, and that our kids deserve our protection. The purpose of this is to encourage us to be vigilante, to be mindful and set boundaries. Not every child abuse case will come to light. In this lock-down and beyond, observe your child and everyone living with you. The heart of human is after all, desperately wicked and full of evil, who can know it?

Watch out for a sequel to this on what Child Sexual Abuse is and the tell-signs for your child.

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Blog Survivors Corner

Scars: She is They!

She looked at herself in the mirror, rubbing the scars up and down. “I used to have a perfect skin” she thought. “Scars are a reflection of your battles won, your scars are perfect! ” said the voice in her mind.

She had relived the moment so many times. She lost a relationship because of the scars, she has been told severally “you should cover up those scars, its ugly”. But she has also been told “its brave how you open up your scars”.

She has lived in fear for the most part of her life, but she masked it well. She kept them well covered up. No! Not just the scars on her hands, the scars in her heart too.

She has often wondered what people would think if she let out those scars? She tried to let them out before, some family said “too messy don’t tell”. Others said “you slutty, no one would believe you”. And others said, “just get over it”. So she went to the church, they know better right? They said no Sis too unrighteous, let us not talk about such dirtiness, its the house of God”.

She knows that scars don’t always mean the wound is healed or the pain is gone. This is true for physical scars as it is for the unseen scars. So what is the point of hiding if she still feels the pain? She is tired, she was scarred for the longest time, and then she found her voice, alas, she spoke!

She finds others like her, each one defined by their scars, limited by their scars, hiding their scars, but she’s also seen others who rose above all of that. More so, she did not go looking for scars, it was an accident, a rape, a molestation. It was a physical abuse, it was one bad decision, and yes it scared her. She knows YOU did not go looking for the scars, just as she didn’t. She showed her scars, some said “thanks for sharing, it really did bless me”.

She came across a song- “Scars” by I am They. The voice put them together to ‘Scars, I am They’. Staring in the mirror, she realizes she has carried these scars for far too long. She worried about people’s thoughts for too long, not anymore.

She came out of that accident, and she lived. Oh yes! She survived. At first, the doctors covered up the wounds, it stank! She has covered her other scars for too long and it stank. So she opened up, and alas, she started to heal. She cannot undo the wounds or the accident, but ever since she has lived with scars. They are a testament to her conquering death! So why should she hide them?

She got healed, yes she did. She wants you to know, you can heal too. The scars, they are beautiful , they are your stories, and you don’t have to hide it no more. Now I wear my scars out if I have to, I am unashamed of them, thankful for them. We do overcome by our testimonies right? So TESTIFY! Your Scars, They are YOU, just as her Scars, they are She. My Scars, I am They.

She hopes the song ‘Scars‘ by I am They blesses you as it did her.

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Blog

#Pink Shirt Day- Would you Stand Up to a Bully?

Picture from- https://pipsc.ca/news-issues/human-rights-and-diversity/international-pink-shirt-day

Today is Pink Shirt Day! The history of Pink Shirt Day, and the courage of the two kids who stood up to bullies is amazing.

I cannot help but ask, would I stand up to a bully on behalf of someone else? Would you? If you are like me, your answer probably came down to “it depends”. But I didn’t always hold back, so what changed?

But First, What is Bullying?

There are lots of versions, but here is my favorite: bul·ly/ˈbo͝olē/ : seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable). [1]

In addition, Wikipedia also states that bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three minimum criteria: (1) hostile intent, (2) imbalance of power, and (3) repetition over a period of time [2].

im(BALANCE)

I want to speak to #2- “imbalance of power”. A bully would think it is their right to bully, and the bullied would think they don’t have what it takes to stand up for themselves. The latter is true, especially where they have been bullied for long, and violently so. Plus, the bully projects an image of what they think of their victims, which somehow the victim buys into. Thus creating a cycle of abuse, until….

…there is a balance of power…..

Remember the bully is perceived as vulnerable? Now what power does an already vulnerable person hold? Think on this! So then, who creates the ‘balance’? YOU! Would you who see the situation and walk away, saying or doing nothing? Or would you create a balance of power?

This is what the boys did to make ‘Pink Shirt Day’ a historical moment. They did something, they brought balance to power. By standing up with the bullied, the bully becomes outnumbered.

So Why Don’t We Stand Up? Here are some Lists

#1- We Fear- BUT remember, bullies thrive on fear.

#2- We know the bully personally- When they get bored with their victims, just know they are coming for you!

#3- A part of us think victims like being bullied- No one likes to feel less of themselves!

#4- The By-Stander Effect– Everyone watching thinks someone else would do something about it. This is worse in our world today. Most people would rather video the event than actually do something.

#5- We ourselves have become ‘silent victims’- This right here was why I stopped speaking up for others! Nothing like a blow you did not see coming!

Sadly, those who should have stepped up for me, were plagued by reasons #1, 2, or 4. Also, I find a lot of people are plagued by #5 as I was, and failed to speak for others.

But like David Shepherd and Travis Price said to the bully of that day- “Enough is Enough”! Speak up for someone, you might be their only chance! This is a journey for some (it still is for me), but, start today!

Picture from- https://museum.novascotia.ca/collections-research/vanguard/gallery/objects/david-shepherd-and-travis-price

To the Bullied- You have to find your voice! Nothing stops a bully in their tracks faster than the bullied standing up and telling them to stop! This is also a journey, start right where you are!

If you read this, it is part of the journey, by learning about #pinkshirtday. Did you wear a pink shirt today? Share your pictures with us- anita@loudsilences.org

Feel free to add to the list of ‘Why we don’t stand-up’ in the comment section. I know the list is inexhaustible. Tell us what stopped you from standing-up.

Would you like to share your story (unpublished), feel free to send me a message in the ‘contact me’ below.


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Blog

Welcome to LoudSilences- Turn it Up!

My name is Ann Adefuye, a.k.a Anita (nee Young-Itiye). I am Nigerian (soon to also be Canadian). I am from the Kalabari tribe (Rivers State) in the South-South Region of Nigeria. I also regard myself as Yoruba- by marriage.

I have three great passions that will be driven through this platform- teenagers & young adults, sexually and domestically abused people, and mental health. I have personally experienced ugly sides of some aspects of all three, hence the passion to be a voice to those who are still trying to navigate these valleys. 

I have plunged to the lowest points of life and somehow sprung back up. My worst experiences are known by very few people in my life and of course not accepted by all. Not because they do not know the truth but because of a fundamental concept that has plagued the Nigerian and African culture for the longest time- the ‘Culture of Silence’.

“It is well”, “Insha Allah”, “Don’t disgrace this family”, “shhhhh, how dare you say such things out in the open”, “what would people say”. The list goes on and on in the different forms that we put the lid on cans of worms. These can take purely religious or cultural undertone, or both. But not anymore! We have a beautiful culture to a large extent, and we can harness them for good, not to keep people bound!

The silence is getting so ‘loud’, it is deafening, the rising number of suicides, deaths by domestic violence, increasing number of divorces, the shaming of victims. There is tremendous work being done by diverse organizations to bring these ills to light, but the voices speaking for victims and calling for prevention strategies can never be too much.

So I welcome you to loudsilences, where we will add our voices to others, help one another understand the impact of the ‘The Culture of Silence’, and turn things around, by unlearning and relearning.

Can you hear the silence?

I will tell stories (some would be real stories of real people, including myself), I might share videos, whatever forms of communication it takes to help us undo the damage of years of silence, including sharing reports and/or data.

I need something from you in return, challenge the status quo of your thoughts and perceptions towards these things, educate yourself and others. Choose to empower people who have been trodden down, build compassion and lend a hand and heart to a broken soul. Be a voice and together, let us quiet down these loud silences, and raise our voices to the tune of a better world.