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20.11.2022 Featured ‘Sex Isn’t Something I Look Forward To’ — Survivors of FGM Recount Horrifying Experiences

Published 20th Nov, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

Survivors of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, have recounted their experiences.

Discussing in Oyo West and Ogbomoso South Local Government Areas on November 17 and 18, 2022, during the inaugural network meeting of survivors of female genital mutilation, various women told Onelife Initiative stories of life-threatening experiences they faced during FGM.

For the first daughter of the Adebisis (not real name), after being circumcised, she bled profusely until someone suggested alum and water should be used to stop the bleeding. Years later, while the second daughter was being cut, the bleeding refused to stop despite using alum, and the girl nearly died. Learning from the previous experiences, the third girl was not mutilated.

READ ALSO: On Int’l Youth Day, Different Generations Discuss Why FGM Persists

According to a press release made available to FIJ, one of the participants explained how she was given a snail when she was 12 years old.

Meeting session with Onelife Initiative

She was confused. She would later be mutilated the same while the snail’s slime would be used to rub the cut. She said, “I managed to have only one child and sex is not something I look forward to at all. My husband eventually left me because of this…”

Another woman, while sharing, said, “My friend was cut and she has a keloid scar around her genitalia. She told me she is still married because her husband has been very considerate.”

READ ALSO: Onelife Initiative Partners Hospital to Offer Free Care for FGM survivors

During the meeting, a participant said that a woman just had her girl child cut before the meeting, despite telling her about all the health implications. She insisted that it was their tradition and there was nothing she could do about it. “I can’t report them because if I do, they will know I am the one and that will be a major crisis in the community,” she said.

Stories like these are behind the unrelenting effort of Onelife Initiative and her partners to ensure that enough is done to bring the practice to an end. The next meeting of the survivors will have a healthcare professional in attendance to address questions relating to their reproductive health.

Both activities are part of the Movement for Good to End FGM project with Onelife Initiative as an implementing partner with UNICEF Nigeria. Explaining the rationale behind the activity, ’Sola Fagorusi, the Executive Director of Onelife Initiative, said “it is important that there is a network of survivors so they have a safe space to discuss their challenges and also get solutions. While it is also important that we speak up to prevent the recurrence of this unhealthy practice, it is important that we care for the millions of survivors who continue to bear the physical and mental scars”.

Published 20th Nov, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

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