Welcome to the WARIF Survivor Stories Series, a monthly feature where stories of survivors of rape and sexual violence are shared to motivate and encourage survivors to speak their truth without the fear of judgement or stigmatisation and to educate the public on the sheer magnitude of this problem in our society. The Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) is a non-profit organisation set up in response to the extremely high incidence of rape, sexual violence, and human trafficking of young girls and women in our society. WARIF is tackling this issue through a holistic approach that covers health, education, and community service initiatives.
WARIF aids survivors of rape and sexual violence through the WARIF Centre, a haven where trained professionals are present full-time, six days a week, including public holidays, to offer immediate medical care, forensic medical examinations, psycho-social counselling, and welfare services that include shelter, legal aid, and vocational skills training. These services are provided FREE of charge to any survivor who walks into the centre.
My Husband’s Best Friend Raped Me.
I am Edeki, a 23-year-old lady, and this is my story.
I come from the South-South region of Nigeria and from a family of five with three siblings. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and died after draining our family’s entire savings, leaving us indebted. Two years after my mom’s death, my father enrolled me in training to learn how to make industrial shoes. That was where I met Raymond; he was the younger brother of my boss, and he owned a retail store where he sold hand-made shoes and foreign shoes for both ladies and men. He behaved nicely towards me, and we fast became friends. In my third year as an apprentice, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I accepted. After six months, he proposed marriage, and we got engaged and began preparing for our wedding.
Raymond invited me over for his cousin’s introduction ceremony. I accepted since it would allow me to meet with other members of his extended family, and I was to stay until the weekend when the traditional rites would be carried out. After we returned from the function, Omoniyi, my fiancé’s family friend, came around and said he was having issues with his wife and needed to stay over until he could resolve things with her. My fiancé thought to ask my permission, and I accepted; after all, what are friends for? We agreed that he would sleep in the second bedroom because my fiancé lived in a two-bedroom flat with his younger sister, who was recently admitted to the university and only came around during the holidays. My fiancé always leaves the house for his office by 7:00 am, and he woke up very early as his custom was, got ready, and told me not to bother about breakfast because he was having a breakfast meeting that morning. Since I was on malaria medication, I just turned around and went to sleep because I was still feeling drowsy from the drugs.
I don’t remember how long I had been asleep, only to feel a weight on me, and it turned out that it was Omoniyi, my fiancé’s family friend, who had forced himself on me and was raping me. I tried to scream for help, but he used his other hand to block my mouth, and he continued thrusting in and out of me until he reached a climax and released sperm into my body. Immediately after he was done, he began begging me, saying that it was the devil’s handiwork and that he didn’t know what came over him, and he just felt the urge to have sex. When his friend bid him goodbye, he came into the room to check up on me, and he couldn’t resist himself, and then he pounced on me in my sleeping state.
He pleaded with me to keep it a secret between us, and I just kept crying, unable to contain my anger. I felt like hitting him with an object in his kneeling position, but I did not want to have the blood of anyone on my hands, so I just got up and walked into the bathroom and locked myself in. I felt dirty and used, especially since I was a virgin and my fiancé, upon discovering my chastity, had sworn not to touch me until after our wedding ceremony, which was coming up in six months. Omoniyi kept knocking on the door and pleading with me not to disgrace him before his friend, but I did not answer him a word, and after about 2 hours, he left the room. I took my bath, came out, and couldn’t find my phone. Then I realised that Omoniyi had taken it. I did not bother going to him as I waited in the room for my fiancé to return.
Unfortunately, he did not return early due to several meetings he had, and I was angry and hungry, and Omoniyi brought me tea and bread when he realised I was not coming out of the bedroom. My fiancé finally came back, and he immediately knew something was wrong. He explained that he was worried that I was not picking up my calls, but Omoniyi quickly said I misplaced my phone and he just saw it on the sofa. My fiancé asked him to excuse us and took me inside, and as I tried to speak, words were not coming out because I had cried all day. It took my fiancé several hours to calm me down, and finally, I told him everything. He was mad, and he ran and gave Omoniyi several slaps, and I had to kneel and beg him not to take the law into his hands. He felt totally betrayed, and he finally called the police, and Omoniyi was arrested. At the police station, we were referred to the WARIF Centre, and that was indeed a lifesaver.
At WARIF, we received a medical assessment, treatment, and psycho-social counselling for free, and the counsellor commended me for telling my fiancé the truth promptly and explained that my fiancé would have found out in the end, or the perpetrator would have also resorted to blackmailing me for sex, money, and otherwise. I was counselled appropriately and taught coping mechanisms for dealing with trauma, especially insomnia, anger, and loss of appetite. Omoniyi was charged in court and sentenced for crimes committed against me. It’s been over a year since the incident happened, and the counselling I received has helped me to overcome anger, worry, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, loss of concentration, and sleeplessness via my therapy sessions. Also, I was privileged to attend group counselling at WARIF, which did me more good than medicine. Indeed, my fiancé, now my husband, is an angel in human form; we got married as scheduled; his business is doing well as he has expanded to other states, and we are expecting a baby. Many thanks to the WARIF Team!
*The real name of the survivor was changed for confidentiality.
Dear survivor, please know that you are not alone, and it is not your fault. Help is available. If you have been raped or know someone who has, please visit us at:
The WARIF Centre
6, Turton Street, off Thorburn Avenue, Sabo, Yaba
or call our 24-hour confidential helpline on
For questions or more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org