Another torch of hope has been lighted for the abused child in Lagos State, as girl-child activists at a one-day campaign against sexual abuse among girl-child urged victims to always speak out, and seek for help from the various rehabilitation centres set up by the government for the purpose across the state.
Organised by the Teens Economic and Social Development (TEENSED) Foundation, Beamlight Foundation and His Marvellous Grace Support Foundation, at the Kanmi Comprehensive College, Ipaja, Lagos, recently, children, especially the girl-child were told they could take hold of their lives and still make something meaningful out of their lives if they speak out and seek counselling from well trained and experienced persons.
TEENSED Foundation’s Executive Director Mrs Ogechukwu Ezeokoli described the growing rate of violence and sexual abuse especially among young girls as worrisome. She said all girl-child, especially victims must begin to speak out against all forms of abuse.
“Perhaps the trend is growing because the society has not stoutly risen against it. There has not been any punitive measure meted out to any offender or violator and this may be because very few victims are speaking out. Young girls must be bold, they must get out of the fear that they might be harmed or killed by their violators if they disclose what they have been going through. They must resolve to speak about it and must importantly, they must seek the help of qualified counsellors who abound at all the centres scattered across the centres established by the Child Department of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to take them through the process of healing.”

Organisers of the event with some of the school children
Ezeokoli urged all girl-child to be vigilant and be ready to speak out on behalf of friends and relations who they know are going through one form of abuse or the other but are timid or afraid to seek help.
She equally charged all teachers to look beyond students’ academic challenges in order to help them unravel the real reason for their poor academic performance.
She said: “Survey has shown that many abused children, especially the girl-child are going through trauma that is affecting their intelligence quotient. (IQ). Some students who appear dull in school are merely reflecting deep emotional trauma and abuse which they go through in school and at home. Never get stuck, there is hope. All that is required is for you to speak to someone.”
She said apart from the state government, several NGOs are collaborating to bring succour to any child abused by any member of the society, whether family member or friend. She stressed that all children, especially the girl-child are advised to practice personal affirmations on a daily basis so as to overcome challenges such as abuses and other such that they may be confronted with.
Founder of His Marvellous Grace Support Foundation Oluwadamisi Tayo-Ladega, led a role play depicting a happy family that suddenly had financial crisis, which led them to send their daughter to live with an uncle so as to assist in taking care of the needs of the home. It turns out that the girl was always physically and verbally abused by the uncle’s wife while the uncle abused her emotionally and sexually. The girl eventually spoke out and got help. Today she lives above her past and helps others to do so too.
Mrs Joy Obehi-Ayemhere, the CEO of Beamlight Foundation, encouraged the students to speak out in case of abuse.
She stressed that one reduces the power that abuse has on one, by speaking about it as it allows healing to start from within.
Mrs Foutoumata Zerbo, a Mandela Washington Fellow 2016 having professional practicum with TEENSED Foundation also spoke on personal hygiene and personal body safety.