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Experts advise victims of abuse to seek redress


Managing Partner, Enakudo & Associates, Elizabeth Enai (left); CEO, Ann Field Property, Esosa Iwuaja; Executive Director, Centre for Individual and Child Development, Chizoba Akkune; General Secretary,  Association of Medical Social Workers of Nigeria Lagos state chapter (AMSWON), Adeyemo Emmanuel and Mental health consultant, Dr Modupe Philip.

Experts have advised victims of assault to seek justice and redress as provided by the Constitution. This was disclosed at a workshop organised by Center for Individual and Child Development (CICD), themed, ‘Pathway to Healing’ in Lagos.

Managing Partner, Enakudo & Associates, Elizabeth Enai, said: “If its criminal, its in the criminal code and law of Lagos state. There are also other laws and agencies in which the state and Federal Government have set in place to help citizens seek justice.”

She noted that an abused person should seek redress for the purpose of stopping the perpetrator from such acts and not for the sake of revenge.

Enai stressed the importance of education and awareness so that people could seek for justice without fear of how the society would perceive their experience.

“We need to go into communities and educate them. It’s a mental thing. There are issues of ego, trauma and poverty that need to be constantly addressed. We can leverage on NGOs, schools and government agencies to enlighten citizens,” she explained.

Executive Director, CICD, Chizoba Akunne, stressed on the importance of keeping in touch with the inner child in every human, which is about retracing and treating one’s childhood to find meaning and reasons for behaviour.

She said, “neglect wound” is an example of a wound faced by adults that was caused by their childhood experience.

“Attributes of neglect wound includes, low self worth, anger, find it difficult to say no, suppressed emotions, fear vulnerability and others,” she added.


Akunne said it was important to set boundaries so you won’t be taken advantage of. According to her, lack of self identity, self criticism for supposed inadequacies, perfectionism are other characteristics of a person that needs healing, adding that to move forward, one needs to let go of their protective shell.

“One of the ways to know you have not started the healing process is that you need external validation, you are afraid to be alone and you are easily triggered.”

Chief Executive Officer, Ann Field Properties, Esosa Ann Iwuaja, said every Nigerian needs to be exposed to such information to identify the reason they act in a certain manner and explain their disposition to life.

“We need to know how to school our emotions, because it affects everything about us. If we are able to manage our emotions, we would get to the root cause of whatever trauma we are faced with and heal properly, which would enable us raise better families, leading to a societal development,” she said.

She called for deeper media engagement to reach all of the society in creating mental health awareness, adding that organisations doing that should also be sponsored.


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