First Bank Chairman Counsels Rape Victims

The Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika has advised sexually abused women to forgive their abusers and move on.

Awosika made this statement during a support group family meeting for women on Saturday, May 4 in Lagos.

She said forgiveness will set the abused free in order to focus on a better future.

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She urged the women to seek help and take charge of their lives not minding the nature of infliction they experienced.

“Forgiveness is about setting yourselves free. Forgive so that you can be free. Every man or woman will get what they deserve. There is justice in this world.

“The reason why we forgive is not for the other, it’s for us. Every journey of our lives is meant to serve a purpose,” Awosikasaid.

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“Make the choice to live your life. Make the choice to let your future be yours as you choose to live it.

“Don’t live it according to the past pain someone inflicted on you. Draw a line.

“It’s not about how we stumble on the way. It’s about how we finish. Take control of your life.

“You cannot continue to live in your past. But you can take charge of your past and face the future.”

Anthonia Ojenagbon, the convener of the programme, said the aim of the group is to encourage women who have been sexually abused to let out their stories, get therapy and justice.

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“In 2015, I was suicidal because I had suffered so much from the psychological effect of child sexual abuse.

“I was molested while growing up by my uncle. I had gone through so much,” Ojenagbon said.

“So, I checked myself into a mental health facility to seek help for severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

“It was when I got there it was traced to 26 years ago that the sexual abuse I suffered as a child was what was affecting me.

“When I came out of treatment, I became a better person. I just said to myself that I have a lot of people like me who have gone through child sexual abuse and they don’t know what to do.

“We need a support group where they can talk in a safe place where no one can judge them. They will listen to your story. A lot of people haven’t spoken about their pains because they are afraid.

“We live in a society where the abused is shamed and victimised. The abuser walks freely.”

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