In the bid to further curb the menace of rape, sexual abuse and all forms of gender-based violence
against women and girls, the Pastor Bimbo Odukoya Foundation (PBOF) used her annual partners’ day
and seminar to sensitised participants on the need to find solutions to the endemic disorder in the
society.

The event which held on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the multipurpose hall of The Fountain Of Life
Church had Mrs Atinuke Odukoya, an experienced researcher as well as monitoring and evaluation
consultant with over 20 years to sensitised the participants on our collective role in eliminating violence
against women and girls and sexual and gender-based violence.

According to her, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and
devastating human rights violation in our world, noting that it exists in all countries.

With the statistics revealing that 1 in 5 women in the world is a victim of rape or attempted rape, roughly 2 million girls between ages 5 and 15 are trafficked or coerced into prostitution yearly and that violence kills and
disabled as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer does, Mrs Odukoya maintained that
if constructive engagements and communication channels not being opened to stop the
the stigmatisation of victims and help them to stop self-stigmatisation, the physical, psychological, health,
social and economic injuries and consequences would be fatal.

She, therefore, urged everyone as well as the society and the church to always speak out against
perpetrators and not the victims.

“Be the light of the world. Don’t just hear the story for hearing sake but to stop it from being spread,” she noted.

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Also addressing the participants on the need to stop stigmatising victims of sexual abuse was Antonia
Ojenagbon who shared her story of abuse and her walk into mental wellness.

In her words, “A journey to mental wellness is not an easy journey. So, don’t judge them because you don’t know where they are  coming from.”

Mrs Omolara Adesanya, in her welcome address, appreciated board members, volunteers and dedicated
partners who contribute their resources for the development of the foundation.

She urged them to be opened minded and not relent in their commitment to helping and rescuing women and young girls out of abuse, noting that their labour of love would not be in vain.

Three ladies, Alaba Olayinka, a Psychology undergraduate at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sophia
Okurume, a senior secondary school student and Lola Osidero, a single mother, all from the Hope home,
one of the schemes of the foundation narrated their ordeal and how the foundation came to their rescue.

While recounting the activities of the foundations in previous years to the partners, the coordinator of
the Foundation, Mrs Aderonke Oyelakin said that PBO Foundation in collaboration with stakeholders has
been addressing gender-based violence through rescue, advocacy and learning, around the world.

She also noted that the foundation has engaged with stakeholders and partners to support Project Sexual
Harassment and Rape Prevention -SHARP aimed at preventing all forms of abuse on women and
children since 2007, adding that the SHARP project has sensitized over 80,000 students, teachers,

parents, religious leaders and communities in Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Calabar. She then solicited for
partners’ continuous support in making sure the lives of women and girls are protected in society.

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“Everyone has a role to play in ending gender-based violence and embrace generation equality,” she
said.

Reported by Becky Olorunpomi.