Child Safety Advocate and a Humanitarian, Oluwatobi Raji has narrated how she was raped ten times as a minor by ten different men and yet she was seen as the corrupt child.
The multiple rape victim stated this while sharing her rape experiences with TheseTimes.
How would you describe your first sexual abuse experience?
It was a horrible, painful and shameful experience, which hurt lasted for years before I started to find healing. The perpetrator was my maternal uncle. I was eight years old. My mum knew about it but she warned me not to tell anyone.
Did your mum do anything to make sure your uncle got punished? Did she take you to the hospital for check-up and treatment?
Not at all. Instead I was seen as the bad child who was corrupt. I didn’t get any medical treatment or psychosocial support.
I understand you were raped several times by different men. How many times and how many men?
Yes 10 times by 10 different men. These happened to me from the time I was 13 to 19.
But how did these happen? Why were these men picking on you?
Well I was homeless at some point. Some who did this were total strangers. I lost my father at an early age, while my mother travelled out of the country for greener pastures leaving us in the care of friends.
Did these incessant rapes lead you to make wrong choices in life?
Yes, I began to see less of myself and accepted valueless individuals as acquaintances. There were moments my only solace was in alcohol and smoking
How did you later find your healing?
I am still healing. I started undergoing psychosocial support which helped my healing process. My ex- introduced me to his doctor who referred me to a psychologist. Well, I really do not do this often, only when I am down which I have longed stopped with the help of God.
What is your advice for sexually abused women?
My word is, there is a lot in life to achieve and victories to be won. Forget the past and move on. This can be quite difficult at a start but you can. Engage more in positive discussions, make valuable friends and visit places of interest.
How can parents and the society help to fight the scourge of sexual abuse and rape?
Parents and guardians have a huge role to play but unfortunately they also share in the guilt. Parents should educate their children early enough. They should let them have sex education and teach preventive measures for sexual abuse. Also, when it happens, the alleged perpetrator must be held responsible. And such must not be covered, regardless who is involved.