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 the other to develop the courage to break the silence in a bid to stop sexual harassment in the country.
Mrs. Mojisola Bakare, General Manager, Corporate and Investment Banking with Sterling Bank Plc, made the promise on behalf of the bank while speaking at the premiere of the movie, “Chatroom”, in Lagos recently. 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. The movie is available on www.afrocinema.tv and can be watched from anywhere in the world.”
She added that a virtual chatroom had also been established on the movie website, www.chatroomthemovie.com, which will be a safe place for survivors where trained counsellors can help them.
The virtual CHATROOM is supported by the Nigerian Institute of Counsellors and WARIF (Women at Risk International Foundation) alongside other partners. Survivors can log in as guests or anonymously and can break their silence, which is the first step towards healing.
Also speaking, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, in a keynote, 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