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Thursdays In Black

By Otonye Fubara-Manuel
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She was just an innocent fish seller hawking on the streets of Lagos flagged down by a car with people she believed to be God sent customers. She entered with the intention of selling her fish oblivious that the buyers wanted a different merchandise.

The pain in her eyes and the screams she let out didn’t seem to make them stop. Tradition depicts that a married woman who is raped must leave her husband’s house, at least this is mild compared to Bariya who had to receive 100 lashes because no one could testify that they heard her scream.

For Better and For Worse” “He is going through a rough time” she is a humble housewife who is always making excuses for the hubby even when it is obvious that he has a temper. Tied up with expectations she doesn’t have the courage to leave his house even when he beats her from the house and finally out in the open. One would think that he would let her be when she seeks solace in the bush but no, nothing can quench his thirst for her pain.

“I would do it over again” “Even if, God forbid, they hoist us on to the gallows... we accept it wholeheartedly”. They had brought shame upon him, his three daughters had disgraced their family by giving into youthful desires of dating and one even had the nerve to get married to hers. In short they had behaved like prostitutes and they needed to die.

Her parents are poor and have no means of surviving, her father is just a farmer in a poor village in Akwa- Ibom state while her mother is always falling sick. Her father has no choice but to send her away to have a better life, to be able to eat well, to be able to survive and Lagos is the only place for her to be. She didn’t know what it entailed, she just thought that she would clean and cook, she didn’t foresee the endless beatings of her madam, or the cold hard floor or the continued sadness. The reverse is the case for her Ugandan colleague who is just a small house maid barely even up to 15 but yet beats up a baby like as if he is an animal.

One question to ask is how the four year old south African girl who was raped and hanged would be able to live with herself, how would her childhood be, would she even have a childhood.

v Do you know that 80% of violence is domestic?

v Do you know that in Northern Nigeria young girls under 10 years are forced into abusive marriages which lead them to becoming sex addicts?

v Do you know that as at 2006 the percentage of victims of gender violence and abuse is 64.5 percent and it has multiplied in the last eight years?

That is why we wear all black on Thursdays to show you the high rate of Gender Based Violence.

By supporting Thursdays in Black we stand

- In solidarity with 1 in 3 women worldwide who face violence in their lives

- In protest against systems and societies that encourage violence in any form

- In mourning for men women and children who are harmed and killed in sexual violence

- For awareness and knowledge about the challenges of SGBV

- In the hope that a different reality is possible.

Please join us and stand against SGBV.

“Thursdays in Black”

Towards a world without Rape and Violence.

(www.thursdaysinblack.co.za)

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Otonye Fubara-Manuel and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."