By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Executive Director, Family and Youth Support Initiative, FYSI, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Mrs. Bukoladeremi Ladigbolu, has urged young girls and ladies to use everything in their power to fight off a potential rapist and speak up against it.

Ladigbolu stated this while speaking with female students of Igando Senior Community High School, Igando, Lagos State, on Thursday, at an event organised by FYSI to commemorate this year’s International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women. 
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She urged the students to read and follow all the tips in her book on rape prevention, ‘Don’t Mess with Their Flowers’, to avoid situations and places that could make them vulnerable to being raped or sexually abused.

“However, when you find yourself in danger of being raped, don’t give up easily. Rather, fight a potential rapist as if your life depends on it. Kick, scratch, struggle, shout for help and make sure you don’t panic. Don’t make it easy for a rapist to have his way,” she told the students. 

She recalled her personal encounter with a rapist,  who happened to be the manager of a bank she was referred to for employment, shortly after she finished from secondary and how she struggled with him for nearly 1 hour in his office until he grew tired and gave up.

She warned the students against allowing any man, including their fathers, male teachers and male colleagues to touch them inappropriately or make sexually suggestive statements about them, urging them to report such to their female teachers, the school counsellor or any other trusted person.

She also sensitised them about the danger of sex-trafficking, sexual exploitation and child marriage,  urging them to avoid being lured into any of it by anyone under whatever guise.

The occasion also featured the donation of 200 copies of “Don’t Mess with Their Flowers” to the school by the Chairman of Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area, Comrade Akinsanya Ayinde, as well as distribution of free branded exercise books to the students by FYSI. 

The school’s management and staff, led by the Principal, Mrs Damola Okesiji, Vice Principal, Mrs Olayinka Adepoju and Counsellor, Mrs B.C. Abidoye, witnessed the occasion.

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