“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Happy New Year!” was what everyone screamed as the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2020. 2019 ended and as usual, most of us were excited, as we celebrated the beginning of a new decade and the endless opportunities we thought we’d be walking into, as the new year started. None of us saw what was ahead.
January seemed pretty ok. A little long because of the customary overspending during the yuletide season but that wasn’t unusual. All of a sudden, there’s a blip on the radar as we first begin to hear of a new virus coming out of the Far East. But we’ve gone through this before with Bird Flu and SARS. No biggie, right? WRONG! February hits and as the number of infections rise, cities around the world are being sealed off, with offices and businesses closing and unemployment lines lengthening.
We never saw this coming. It was impossible to anticipate.
But that’s not all. Another wave of darkness soon followed the global pandemic. The second wave has been self-inflicted, as people around the world show their utter disregard and respect for their fellow human beings. We’ve seen it all…the brutal rapes and murders of young women such as Uwa Omozuwa, a university student in Nigeria and police shootings and brutality both here and internationally with the deaths of Tina Ezekwe and George Floyd. What we can’t see, is when all of this pain and darkness will pass.
It may seem as if there isn’t a lot that we can do to effect the changes we all so desperately want to see, but that is not true. Below are a list of resources to help those battling COVID and survivors of abuse:
The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) is a Private Sector task force in partnership with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the sole aim of combating Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria. Click here for more information on CACOVID and to protect yourself against the virus.
The Mirabel Center is the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Nigeria that provides holistic medical and psychosocial services to survivors of sexual assault and rape. The center’s services are available to women, men and children and include free and comprehensive medical, counseling and aftercare services. The Mirabel Center also provides support and information on reporting matters to the police; information on the legal system; and referrals to agencies who provide support in areas not covered by Mirabel.
Click here for more information on the Mirabel Center.
The Cece Yara Foundation
The Cece Yara Foundation is a child-centred non-profit organisation focused on preventing child sexual abuse and access to care, information, protection and emergency intervention for children who have experienced sexual abuse or who are at risk. The Foundation provides provides psycho-social, legal and medical support for children through a 24-hour free child telephone helpline (0800 800 8001) and has a multi-disciplinary team of counsellors, social workers, child advocates, lawyers and forensic interviewers who work with government agencies in the investigation, intervention and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.
Genesis House is a female residential rehabilitation and resource center that primarily focuses on transforming the lives of commercial sex workers and other vulnerable women who have been either trafficked, abused or exploited. The organization works with women between the ages of 18 and 25. The center provides physical and mental therapy to its registered women, while also teaching them vocational skills from which they can earn a living.
To learn more about Genesis House and how you can support, click here.
By: Oladotun Adio
Read also: Justice for Uwa