Sterling Bank promises support for abused women

Sterling Bank Plc has said it will continue to support women and young girls who have been victims of gender-based violence at one time or another to develop the courage to break the silence in a bid to stop sexual harassment in the country.

General Manager, Corporate and Investment Banking with Sterling Bank Plc, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare, made the promise on behalf of the bank while speaking at the premiere of the movie Chatroom in Lagos. 

She explained that the movie is aimed at ‘Breaking the Silence’ about the gender-based abuse women and young girls go through in the Nigerian society.

The film, produced by Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, is a 98-minute movie that tells the inspiring story of Ebiere, a young, unassuming lady who enters a dancing reality TV show to escape the haunting experience of her past. 

The experiences in the house turn the table on her, causing national chaos.

Addressing the audience at the event, Mrs. Ibekwe said the CHATROOM project, which started a few years ago, was inspired by the true-life story of someone who is still alive.

She urged more survivors to break the silence and speak up about their situations for the benefit of others, adding, “We wanted to create a story that would give people hope; to let us know that things happen, but we don’t have to wallow in the mud, and that was the beginning of CHATROOM.

Also speaking, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, in a keynote address, noted that the sustenance of gender equality perspectives should be coordinated in the plans, projects, and programmes of the Federal Government.

Mrs. Friya Kimde Bulus, the ministry’s Director of Gender Affairs, said the event could not have come at a better time, given the recent passing of famous gospel singer Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu, whose experience exemplifies the issue of gender-based violence (GBV).

According to her, cases of GBV have been on the increase in Nigeria, with the latest incident being the death of the popular gospel singer, the late Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu, who allegedly died due to complications during a domestic altercation with her spouse.

She observed that available statistics in Nigeria showed that one in three women and girls between ages 15 and 49 had experienced GBV, and one in every five had experienced physical violence.

“Thirty-one percent of women between ages 15 and 49 have experienced sexual assault, while six percent of women have experienced an assault during pregnancy. These acts against women and girls are one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world today, “Tallen said.

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