Solace Ojotule: Locked Down With My Abuser
It is no news that the Covid- 19 Pandemic has disrupted the usual human routine activities. Schools have been closed down, works have been suspended, social activities including concerts and sporting activities have been cancelled and everyone is advised to stay at home to reduce the spread of the virus.
Many persons who will be out on a normal day, getting busy with one or two things are forced to stay at home. This also implies that Gender-Based violence and sexual violence will be on the increase as many survivors will be on a lock down with their abusers. When it comes to domestic violence, Women who are the most vulnerable constitutes a larger percentage of the victims of Gender-Based Violence, hence, the focus on women.
Many women will be more exposed to violence with their abusive partner in this period because of the stay at home order. They will have to spend more time with their abusive partners than they usually do and the abusers will find fault in little things and get irritated over nothing to abuse them. In this period, Gender-Based violence victims are advised to stay calm while they keep their mental health stable and avoid their abuser at all costs.
He is going to complain over little things to use that as the basis to beat you up. Stay calm. He is going to divert his anger to the kids to get you, remember his target is you, not the kids. You have to remain calm as much as possible. When it goes out of hand, you are advised to take shelter in the house of a relation close by or call domestic violence helplines that have been set up by government agencies and NGOs.
I understand that not all states in Nigeria have these helplines, but States like Lagos State Government has put helplines in place. If your State doesn’t have this, try to take shelter with a trusted person. Do not continue to stay with him. Your safety is important.
You should also use this period to equip yourself by learning a skill online. They are many free online courses you could take. You can also get involved in learning a trade. You could learn how to bake, how to make coconut oil and many other things. Search for your interest online and in no time, you would have learned something. Remember your financial independence is a step to becoming a free person.
Believe in yourself, like you always do, you will have all the strength you need to pull through this phase. You’re a survivor.
For victims in Lagos State, put these numbers to good use. If you live in other states, I will advise you call these numbers too. They may have contacts of someone in your State that could be of help to you.
- Office of the Public Offender- 0708 060 1080
- Ireti Resource Centre – 0700 3333 111
- Mirabel – 0815 577 0000
- StandToEndRape- 0809 596 7000
- DSVRT – 0813 796 0048
- CeceYara- 0800 800 8001
Remember you are not alone, help is available.
About the Writer:
Okeyi Ojotule Comfort is a writer under the Pseudonym Solace Ojotule. She is a writer who centers her writings on addressing gender issues, and women empowerment. She founded an initiative which can contribute towards reducing inequality against women in a patriarchal society. TELL IT TO THE GIRL CHILD INITIATIVE; an initiative that aims at sensitizing young secondary school students on need for gender equality and women empowerment. An Initiative she hopes to expand as an NGO that will become a support system to disadvantaged women and girls. Ojotule is a young graduate of Theater Arts from Kogi State University who hopes to explore more opportunities