‘Best Okoduwa’s new film #Crushed needs no introduction, in this 13 minutes clip, he takes on a very sensitive societal taboo: incest.’
The most basic and most intricate unit of every society and civilization; an institution that predates all others – the family- has being under attack from within for ages, and, the majority of society refuses to acknowledge it.
Incest, one of the most widespread form of institutional abuse is not a respecter of race, socio-economic status, disability, gender, age, religion or educational background.
Incest can happen between fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, aunties/uncles and nephews, aunties/uncles and nieces.
Infants, adolescents and teenagers can fall victims to incest.
No doubt, Lagos State government under the leadership of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has put a lot of muscle behind civil societies advocacy work against incest and all forms of sexual abuse.
September 11, 2014 witnessed the inauguration of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT). The team comprises CSO’s and NGO’s, law enforcements agencies and legal services firms who provide specialty services for victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Some of its objectives as outlined by the Attorney General are:
To synergize the efforts of government, CSOs and law enforcement agents in the fight against domestic and sexual violence in Lagos State;
To create an online and offline directory of organizations committed to the rehabilitation and prosecution of Domestic and Sexual Violence (DSV) related cases;
To create dedicated telephone lines for victims and the public who wish to report cases of DSV to be able to do so;
To cross pollinate ideas and crowdsource resources on current best practices as it pertains to the timely intervention in DSV cases;
To increase victims safety and offender responsibility and the anonymity of victims and witnesses before, during and after court proceedings, and,
To stop the current trend of impunity.
Governor Fashola went a notch higher by signing the executive order instituting a mandatory sex offenders register in the state on December 1, 2014 in his office.
Despite these landmark achievements, there is still a lot of work to do, as research suggests that 46 percent (46%) of rape cases in children are by family members. (Langan and Harlow, 1994.) while 24 percent (24%) are sexually abused by strangers (Hayes, 1990).
Victims of incest are often extremely reluctant to reveal that they are abused because their abuser is a person in a position of trust and authority for the victim.
Incest is the single biggest commonality between drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, teenage and adult prostitution, criminal activity, and eating disorders. Abused youths don't go quietly into the night. They grow up—and 18 is not a restart button.
We must acknowledge the existence of this heinous crime for us to map out solutions and this begins with speaking out about it. Victims must be supported in speaking out and seeking justice.
Crushed, is a movie that gives a voice and face to victims on many levels. First. It acknowledges the problem; second, it summons it out of the closet and, third, it tells its consequences in a matter-of-fact fashion.
In one sentence, Okoduwa sends message of solidarity to victims and survivors: ‘We hear you now, we acknowledge you and we apologise for failing you.’
You can watch #Crushed by following this link.
Crushed is proudly supported by ASHA.
To speak with an expert and get help, please contact:
THE MIRABEL CENTRE
Helplines: +234 8031230236, +234 8155770000, +234 1-2957816
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA)
Child Abuse - +234 808 575 3932, +234 810 267 8442
Women Affairs - +234 808 575 4226, +234 810 267 8443