In recent times, sexual assault survivors have been stepping out of the shadows and sharing their experiences – many for the first time – on social media.
Since the rise of the #MeToo movement, most victims of sexual abuse who would often want to avoid reporting assaults to the police out of fear, shame, and mistrust of the system, have resorted to platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share their stories.
In Nigeria, a #MeToo moment was triggered recently when Busola Dakolo, who is married to popular musician Timi Dakolo, accused famous Nigerian pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of raping her twice before she turned 18.
Since 2017, Nigeria’s #MeToo social media campaign has resulted in thousands of people sharing their stories of sexual abuse and harassment.
The latest is from Sonia Obi-Okodo, a Nigerian activist who has shared on her social media page how her uncle molested her when she was a child.
She wrote on her Facebook page that the man, whose name she gave as Dike Obi, started abusing her when she was around 5 years old while making her believe that performing oral sex on him and swallowing his semen would help her grow big and invincible.
In the post, which has since gone viral on social media, Obi-Okodo said the incident has had many negative effects on her, compelling her to even see a therapist.
“My studies failed woefully. I was distracted. Addiction to Ponography, Emotional imbalance. I was a troubled teen. I had the worse kind of bitterness that no one understood. They say your anger no fit boil stone. My temper could boil a rock. A little confrontation would lead to the worse kind of Physical abuse from me. I was Judged. No one understood. People said I was possessed. I trusted no one. I grew up Fast,” she wrote.
Read her full story below:
“Dike Obi : My Father’s half kid Brother who he brought to Lagos to give a better life. Enrolled him in the Prestigious Kabe College in Festac. I cannot remember the exact day but I remember being spanked by my elder sister for something I did. I was around 5 years old. He called me aside and told me he had something that could make me grow big. I will be unbeatable. Imagine the Joy in my little eyes as I saw my self as the new Cat woman of the Obi dynasty.
The first time keeps ringing in my head like church bell. He pulled down his trouser(He was never one to wear shirts at home) ,Brought out his Manhood and commanded me to suck. He ejaculated in my mouth and asked me to swallow what he referred to as “Yoghurt and Milk”(Semen). I did. I wanted to grow big. I didn’t know it was wrong and I was just 5. It progressed to “Blue films” and asking me to watch and learn from those women in the movie. I did. I wanted to grow big.”
“Next up, my eldest got spanked by my aunt. She was crying so much and I went to him to ask if he could give her some milk to grow big. The way he screamed at me,I could feel the fire from his eyes that flowed to his lips as he threatened me. He said he would kill my daddy. My dad has a small frame ,this ebubedike is tall and huge,He would kill my father (I thought in my little mind). I and my Father have a bond. I am daddy’s girl. So saying that,He got my attention.
Opening up: Years went by and he continued,this time forcing his way with his fingers through my innocence. Then One day, I asked my cousin Ogechukwu ” Am I growing big? I mean I still get spanked up and down. She looked at me,laughed and said” You look your age na” ♀️Hey God! After all the milk and yoghurt? Then I opened up. I told her everything. Oge,went from red,to purple, to Pink and back to her fair complexion. She was silent. I don’t remember how it went but I know he left our house for good shortly after.“
“Effects: My studies failed woefully. I was distracted. Addiction to Ponography,Emotional imbalance. I was a troubled teen. I had the worse kind of bitterness that no one understood. They say your anger no fit boil stone. My temper could boil a rock.A little confrontation would lead to the worse kind of Physical abuse from me. I was Judged. No one understood. People said I was possessed. I trusted no one. I grew up Fast.
This abuse opened me up to more abuse. I got married and as I watched my children grow, I became paranoid. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I had relapses,Suicide Ideations. I would stay weeks without seeing my kids or having a bath because I just want to die. Tobore Anne got me help. Tobore Mit Ovuorie got me Free sessions for therapy and I got my drugs at absolutely no cost. I was ashamed of my past but I learned to speak. I got redemption.”