Following the trend of the notorious #metoo movement, women from Northern Nigeria shared stories of sexual assault and abuse, calling out their abusers across social media with the tag – #arewametoo. The stories shared were heartbreaking. The reactions that followed ranged from sympathy to rage to victim shaming. In all of it, these are the ten most important things we learned from the #ArewaMeTooMovement.
Nigerian women, especially abuse victims are tired of being silenced and tired of people trying to silence them.
Enough is enough.
The abusers are more often than not close to home.
They are also most likely to be serial abusers.
No matter how many victims come out with their stories, there’ll always be people like this.
But people like him couldn’t silence the brave women who shared their stories.
Our culture of silence is very dangerous.
People who silence victims are just as bad as the abusers.
Children make up a large percentage of the victims.
One in four girls by the time she reaches 18 would have experienced at least one form of sexual assault.
While girls make up a larger percentage, young boys are often preyed upon too.
And it’s sometimes harder for them to speak out.
It’s bigger than sexual assault in Northern Nigeria.
Sexual assault is an epidemic that’s spread across the whole country.
For every victim who shares their story, there are hundreds more who can’t.
But every victim who shares their story lends a voice to those who can’t.
It’s never the victim’s fault.
What she was wearing, where she was, what time of the day it was, all these things don’t matter.
It’s more than a hashtag. It’s a safe space for victims to share their pain.