Research has shown that while many people say they disapprove of Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG), the practice is still common — and many people think it is still acceptable in ‘certain circumstances.’ It’s a subject that isn’t talked about enough in Nigeria, however, over time, with the aid of social media and committed organizations, it is being tackled one case at a time.
While social media has the potential to create change, we see that it also has contributed to the issues by fueling gender shaming and exacerbating the attitudes that legitimate gender based violence. This session, hosted by Purple, had three women dedicated to fighting this cause. They talked us through the many ways social media has aided their quest.
Unto a forward trajectory, Joy Onoriose Shokoya, lead counselor of Mirable Center, a sexual assault referral centre, said we have started using social media and technology and we shouldn’t stop; now more than ever we need to get the word out there for people to know that there are centers dedicated to helping them. She also added that we need celebrities to lend their voices to this cause as they have the power to influence many.
Lola Viviour Adeniyi, the co-ordinator of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Voilence Response Team, added that there is a need to adjust our legislative framework to make it consistent to respond to these times. Furthermore, she explained that it is our collective responsibility to look around us and report any cases of domestic violence around us because being silent is as good as condoning it.
To buttress this, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, executive director of Stand to End Rape (STER), says we can all make change by educating children around us early enough about sex and consent. Plus, our social media pages are change instruments; we should all stand for the cause.
Change starts from you. And me.