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Sexual Abuse is mostly perpetrated by people who are close to you, people you love so much, people who are highly respected in the family. – Anthonia Ojenagbon



Having battled with depression for so many years, a sexual abuse survivor finally gets the courage to share her story, one many dread speaking about. Mrs Anthonia Ojenagbon is a sexual abuse survivor, who was raped as a young girl by her Uncle for 3years. Speaking to MRH TV, Anthonia reveals how she almost committed suicide in 2016 as she also explains how she struggled to get her life back as a woman. Her story is very emotional and inspiring; everyone should read and learn from her story.


Please, can you do a brief introduction of yourself?

My name is Anthonia Ojenagbon, I am the first child out of 9 children. I came to Lagos to live with my uncle in 1992 because my parents could not afford to take care of us. My dad was a military man, my mum was a full-time housewife, so my uncle opted to help my parents train me that was why I came to Lagos.


At what age did you move in with him?

I was 12 years old when I moved in with my uncle.


Was your uncle married when you moved in with him?

My uncle had a wife and some other people living with him when it all started, but one thing I’m sure of is that nobody in the house was aware of this. With the benefits of my sight now, I think he puts something in her drink for her to sleep off. I don’t know for sure but the truth of the matter is, she never woke up one day.




At what age did the sexual abuse/rape begin and when did you become fully aware of this act?

I was in jss2 when it all started, one night I was sleeping and I felt a hand touch my breast. Not just touching my breast, I felt a hand touching my nipples. It was really scary for me because everyone had gone to bed and I was wondering that who would touch my nipples. The hand crawled from my nipples, went down to my vagina. It was so shocking because I wasn’t expecting anyone to do such in my uncle’s house because everywhere was dark I didn’t put a face to who will be doing that to me. I was 12 years old when my troubles started.


During this period was there anybody who you shared your plight with

I couldn’t tell anybody because one day my uncle told me that I must not tell anybody what was happening to me and if I voice out he is going to kill me. As a child, I was so scared of telling somebody because my uncle threatened to kill me.


How did you feel telling members of the family about your situation and nothing was done about it?

I felt terrible that I was not believed mostly by my mum because my uncle is a very nice person. So it was difficult convincing both my family and my mum. It was hurtful to me because they all thought I was saying things to pull my uncle down. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people who have been raped don’t talk about it because its mostly perpetrated by people who are close to you, people you love so much, people who are highly respected in the family. The survivor is not believed, the survivor is shamed, and that is why we have more cases of sexual abuse. If you do a research, you will find out that the people who abuse are people who are close to the family, they are people who the families love and trust. Most of them are people you can vouch for, my mother actually told me that God will judge for trying to incriminate an innocent man.


What was your coping mechanism during your stay with your uncle? Did you partake in self-infliction or violence?

My coping mechanism was going to church; I attended all the programs in the church from Monday to Sunday.


With all you have been through, how were you able to handle your catering business?

I’m very blessed because I am lucky to have a man who is a very nice and accommodating man. He has never used my past against me. I am a very hardworking person, I buried myself in work. Although I used to have a problem with depression. I looked strong on the outside but I was struggling with depression inside of me. Coping mechanism for me is to work when I’m working I forget about my problems. After working I now remember that I have a problem. So i put in so much attention to my business because I see it as a distraction to my problems.


With what you went through as a young girl, how did you feel when you met your husband, knowing very well that there is going to be a sexual relationship between you two?

It was really horrible at first when we met, I wanted to leave my uncle’s house and the only thing that would take me out is marriage; let me say I was desperate to leave. The experience was horrible, my initial plan is to get married and kill the man.  When I met my husband, he told me that he works with Pastor Taiwo and Late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya . I was really curious to be close to him because I have always wanted to meet Late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya and her husband.  When I met my husband my fight against men stopped and I decided to embrace love again knowing that he is a good Christian and he also works with respected Christian couple. I got married because I wanted to leave the house not because I loved the man, but now it is a different story, I am still married to him and I love him so much. The love grew with time in the marriage. The night of the wedding was very funny, I didn’t think about him sleeping with me when we were getting married, so the night of the wedding reality dawned on me that I was married. Our wedding night was like brother and sister sleeping in a room together, nothing happened.



What has become of this ‘uncle’ of yours?

My uncle is very much alive, but I am certain he is not living in peace.


Did he later apologize for his immorality?

Yes, he did, after 26 years my uncle called me last month to apologize. I wasn’t expecting him to apologize, but I’m glad he realized his mistakes.


Did this affect your platonic or romantic relationship with men?

Of course yes, I was alone, I never had anything to do with a man sexually until I got married. Even after I got married it was a bit difficult for me by I am fine now and I am grateful to God for giving me, my own man. I was willing to get married and later kill the man. I wasn’t scared of going to jail just to punish other men for what my uncle made me go through


How is your current well-being?

Thank God I am doing great now because I have gone for therapy. It was a very tough journey for me in the last 14 years that I got married. I never knew that I have that kind of baggage until I got married, it was then reality dawned on me. I used to feel so insecure, even though I looked like a very strong person. I had a problem with severe depression. In 2016, I had to check myself into a psychiatric hospital to get help for depression and suicide outwards. When it gets to the month of September, I have a lot of flashbacks because that was the exact month my sexual abuse started.



As far as your pledge against rape is concerned, how many victims have you been able to reach out to?

I have decided to be a mouthpiece, I have been able to reach so many people. I attend seminars, I speak to young girls. I go out there to tell parents the signs to look out for when a child is going through pains. Abuse reduces your 100% to nothing. Sexual abuse stole 20years of my life; I don’t want it to happen to another person. I want survivors to know that the shame does not belong to them; the shame belongs to their abuser. My mother begged me to stop talking about it but I told her I am not talking about it because I want to pull my uncle down, but I am talking about it because I want others to learn from my story. There are just some people who are not bold enough to talk about it and there are some people who need to hear other people’s story to stay strong.


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