We are currently in the midst of global protests emerging from the police murder of George Floyd, an innocent African American man. However, around the world, sexual violence is still on the move.
In Nigeria, a young University of Benin student by the name of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, or ‘Uwa”, was raped while studying at church. She was found unconscious in a pool of blood on the floor by a church security guard. She died a few days after in the hospital.
When will this madness end?
Uwa’s story has been picked up by large media sources such as the BBC and the Guardian, and has started some pertinent conversations about violence against women in Nigeria across social media.
Several years ago, a young medical student by the name of Jyoti Singh (affectionately called “Nirbhaya” meaning fearless) in India was gang-raped and murdered in one of the most grotesque ways. Her death sparked a national outcry calling for the government of India to change sexual violence laws. The four rapists in the case were eventually charged and hanged.
The question is, will the outcry for Uwa in Nigeria be enough to alert government officials to the reality that more harsher methods must be used to eradicate and eliminate rape and other forms of sexual assault?
Rape and sexual assault are cultural evils that must be eradicated through education. How do we get to these perpetrators of heinous crimes against women? How do we reach them? We speak, but how do we speak to the right ears?
When will our words be enough?
All we can hope for is that law makers around the world will begin to wake up to understand that severe punishments must be enacted to drastically reduce acts of sexual violence.
Check out the link to this great article below about Nigerian women’s #metoo stories:
‘As Told by Nigerian Women: 17 Places Where We Experienced Sexual Assault”, by Ope Adedeji