Tola : A Lady Who Turn Her Life Around…

By Titilayo Ekemode
Tola was a victim of rape but she’s now a lawyer who helps to defend victims of rape and violence.
Tola was a young girl in her late teens. She was coming back from an evening class when she met some group of guys who stopped her and took her to an uncompleted building and took their turns in raping her.
They left her lying helpless and half dead.
Her roommates were worried because they were yet to see her. They decided to look for her.
It was through their search they heard a weak voice calling for help and they diligently traced the sound to an uncompleted building. There she was laying helplessly and bleeding uncontrollably.
They rushed to her and asked what happened, but she was too weak to respond. They immediately rushed her to the school clinic.
She was taken to the I.C.U. The doctor quickly ran series of test on her, passed drip and administered drugs to her.
 When it was morning, Tola was fully conscious and ready to be discharged. But she couldn’t just stop crying. She narrated what happened to her friends and they promised to make the guys pay for their crimes.
When she got to the hostel that morning, she became the centre of attraction because the news had gotten to them. Some people were sympathizing with her while some were mocking her. She was so ashamed of herself and vowed to make the guys pay.
She went to the police station the next day to make report and file a case against them, but going there was another tragedy because she was delayed and ordered around by the police men until it was late.
She was also raped and insulted by one of the police officers who told her to follow him so as to get her statement.
Her world became shattered. She wanted death because it seemed the whole world was against her. She was also abused by the people who were supposed to defend her.
Some people blamed her for walking late at night, while some said she was promiscuous and she got what she deserved. She didn’t know what to do. She became the topic of the day for the whole school knew she was raped by a group of guys and also by the police. She was greatly avoided by most students even her friends.
This killed her self esteem: people hated her, they don’t want to have anything to do with her, they mocked her, she couldn’t go out or attend lectures and she didn’t want to tell her parents because she was scared.
What a life for a young teenager!
Tola couldn’t continue her studies in the school anymore because she couldn’t stand the difficulties she was facing. She went back home and told her parents what happened. Her mother cried: “Oh my poor daughter! What have they done to you?”
Tola’s mother couldn’t help but cry and rain curses on the people who tend to destroy her daughter’s life. The whole neighbours wanted to know why Tola was at home when it wasn’t holidays.
The world around her keeps criticising, judging, mocking, and avoiding her. She made a promise to herself to become a lawyer and defend other girls who have gone through the same trauma she went through, to fight for them till her last drop, and to make people change their perspectives about her.
It seems impossible right? Of course it is possible. She took JAMB again and gained admission to study law in a federal University. After 8 years of study, she graduated and became a well respected lawyer and ready to fulfill her promises.
She became an advocate for victims of rape and assaults and no one ever knew and believed that she was once a victim of rape.
The impossible could be possible if you don’t let your present situation weigh you down or define you.
#girlscorner# #saynotorape# #saynotostigmatization#

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