There are so many people who are being trapped in abusive relationships and looking up for the messiah to come but as the day passes by, the light of hope seems to be extinguishing gradually.
And then on the 20th of March, 2021 at the Imperial Hall Ikeja, The Gnosis Help Initiative an NGO designed to sensitize the public on Domestic Abuse came with a massive team to enlighten the public with a new hope – Above Abuse. The Gnosis Help Initiative is founded by a Wonderful Couple –Barrister Olumide Omosebi and his wife, Olaide Adedoyin who herself was an Abuse survivor. The event came to life when the anchor Chioma BB formerly of Inspiration FM set the ball rolling with the introduction of one of the speakers Mrs. Toyin Ndidi Taiwo-Ojo.
According to Mrs. Toyin Ndidi Taiwo–Ojo , a human rights advocate, child safety advocates and founder of Stop The Abuse Against Children and Women Foundation “Marriage is more Carnal than Spiritual. Avoid the wrong myth of Divorce is condemnation”. In her presentation, she gave some red flag signs that victims can identify easily to know who is an abuser. She further sited a story of an abusive woman who killed her children because her husband threatened to leave the marriage also mentioned the viral case of Pius Angbo.
It was a sign of relief for those who were either in abusive relationships or survivors when Barrister Philomena Nneji the next speaker stepped on the podium. She was the chairperson of FIDA (International Federation of Women Lawyers in Nigeria). Her presentation was on the types of challenges an abuse victim should stand up to especially in the area centered on the culture of silence. She urged those present that her NGO was ready to help those in abusive relationships.
What would you make of someone who was beaten 32 times, hospitalized 8 times and found herself in coma twice within a period of 8 months after she gave birth to her twins (a male and a female) who were still babies? This was the case of Ms. Adewunmi Adefunke Oluremi, the founder of Black Diamonds Support Foundation who suffered under an abusive lover. She told her story of how she was trapped in an abusive dungeon by a man whom she had sincerely and genuinely loved. It was when her montrous lover threw their 9 months old son against the door that she knew that the time to walk out was NOW. Her children will be 10 years next month.
Her presentation was based on the upbringing of children and how they are to be treated in the right manner. She gave her favorite quote as “You are ruining the future of your children when you refuse to take the walk. When you take the walk, you have created a generational change.”
While Ms. Adewunmi came out of her own abusive relationship with her two kids alive, the next speaker, Ronke Ojeikere, the South-South and Edo State coordinator of The National Council of Child Right Advocates of Nigeria was however unlucky. In her presentation on Options and Starting Over, she spoke about how her ex-husband whom she loved used his deceit to abuse her emotionally which resulted in the death of her second child who was just a year and seven months. She encouraged abusers to always seek for refuge in a shelter, get support, involve others and then talk to emergency services such as the police.
At the mention of the police, the representative of the commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CSP Margaret Ighodalo was called to speak on the position of the police on abuse related matters. She however spoke on some of the old laws being reformed in Lagos state presently. According to her, cases of abuse such as rape, bodily inflictions are crimes.
When the vibrant and energetic Barrister Dorcas Aderemi mounted the podium, her focus was on living a life of peace. Her foundation Familylawsng is an online law platform was set up to help victims of abuse. She encouraged those who are still in abusive relationships to embrace life over torture and slavery.
The program rounded up with the story of co-founder of The Gnosis Help Initiative, Mrs. Olaide Adedoyin Omosebi, an abuse survivor. She too was abused by her estranged husband who was a bully to everyone around him. He had dealt seriously with her before she stood up to him. It was her decision to take the walk that concluded her 8 years stay in the dungeon of Abuse. She said her ex-husband stripped her of all her belongings and left her with a pair of bathroom slippers, some few clothes and N200 along with her children.
Editor’s Note: Take the WALK from the abuse and seek help. Contact the writer to give you the right numbers to call if you need help. Say Something if you see something.
Photo Credit: Dailynews