Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi (@ayodejiosowobi) was carrying out her youth service during the election period when a senatorial candidate approached her to register underage children in order to gain more votes. Ayo vehemently disagreed. Time passed and the incident appeared forgotten. Ayo was later befriended by a man and they maintained a cordial relationship. One day after offering her a ride, he parks the car, locks it and tells her that he likes her and is interested in pursing a sexual relationship. She declined and the man proceeded to rain insults on her, revealing that he was tied to the senatorial candidate. Ayo fled from the vehicle but was chased down, caught and pulled by her braids, and was raped. She went to the police station and was met with ridiculous requirements for ‘evidence’ and no arrests were made. Ayo had immense support from her parents and fought against the stigmatization of rape survivors. She went on to get her Masters in International Relations with a focus on Gender Studies and interned with the United Nations in New York. In 2014, she moved back and founded the S.T.E.R (Stand To End Rape) Initiative. @standtoendrape
After sharing her story so openly, she went on to describe the needs of S.T.E.R. Initiative. There is ONE rape crisis center in a city of millions. S.T.E.R. Initiative is need of a proper center to handle the high number of survivors that come to them, daily. Please visit www.gofundme.com/GBVNigeria (no, you can’t copy and paste, but you can type it out into your browser in a few seconds) to learn more about this initiative and their actions to change the lives of many. Thanks to @tfaafrica and @redmediaafrica for including me in this work to highlight the hard work of individuals striving to make a massive difference. Ayo, thank you for being so endlessly brave in the telling of your story, for the strides you are making with so many others to let people know that they are not alone, that people care and will stand by them.
Text by Yagazie Emezi ( Instagram)