A novel which focuses on the effects of sexual and domestic abuse has been launched in Lagos.
The book, titled ‘Catching Grace’ was written by a Nigerian filmmaker and actress, Ololade Okedare.
The author wrote the book using the pseudonym ‘Lydianuel’.
The book presentation was attended by various persons who proffered several solutions to the disturbing trend.
Not the regular book launch one would expect; it had a mix of poetry recitation dance and drama that echoed the theme behind the launch.
The author whose movie, ‘Code Wilo’ is currently showing at the cinemas said the novel is based on a true-life experience and seeks to give hope to the heartbroken.
The author stated during her opening remarks that sexual and domestic abuse has long been swept under the carpet and the stigma suffered by the victims has also led to it (the trend) being condoned by society.
Explaining the inspiration behind the book, she said she desired to build a rehabilitation centre for commercial sex workers ”because it is important to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society”.
She also added that her faith-based charity organisation, Ololade Okedare Foundation seeks to rehabilitate victims of sexual abuse especially commercial sex workers.
She also explained that her interactions with a lot of women ”who have been sexually abused, gave rise to the 180-page book”.
“Many of them (commercial sex workers) have lost hope and need a reason to live again, to hope again and what I plan to do with the proceeds from my book are to someday able to build a rehabilitation shelter where these women can learn skills, can get educational grants that will help them fulfil their dreams in life, that’s my plan.”
She also explained the role of the federal government involvement in stopping this plague
The author noted, ”When I held my first outreach, I sought the help of the government, for integration and rehabilitation of these women. There was no plan. I went to the ministry of women affairs and discovered that there was no concrete plan to give these women refuge and rehabilitate them.
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“The government is doing a very great job of empowering women and giving them skills but it goes beyond that. Some women needed psychological help, emotional help and there wasn’t any provision for that and at a point, I felt discouraged.”
Also speaking at the event, a medical practitioner, Amos Okedare, who chaired the occasion, described the book as great work.
He said the subject matter required a lot of advocacy to stem the tide.
Mr Okedare also advised the government to commence advocacies at all levels of education and to treat issues of rape and sexual violence as plagues.
Oladimeji Akadiri, a professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Port Harcourt, who was also present at the event, said ”the government was treating issues of domestic violence and sexual abuses with kid gloves”.
The event also featured a panel discussion on the subject matter, where the culture of silence on rape and sexual violence were condemned.
Other highlights at the launch was a dance drama and poetic renditions on domestic violence and abuse.