Laide-Lanre Badmus, an entrepreneur and businesswoman, has launched Laide-Lanre Badmus Foundation Africa, (LLB) to help victims of sexual abuse across Africa.
Speaking in Ibadan, on Tuesday, at a press conference organized to unveil the foundation, she explained that her decision to start the initiative was fuelled by her personal experience as a victim of sexual abuse.
Laide-Lanre Badmus said she was sexually abused at the age of 13 by a man who was supposed to be her guardian
Her words: “This foundation has been a long-term passion for me to help in building emotional stability for emotionally broken children with childhood dysfunctions just like me.
“As a young girl who was sexually abused at the age of 13 by a man who was supposed to be her guardian or, better still, a father figure, no one else qualifies more to have such a foundation than myself,”
She said the foundation is coming up 29 years after her first sexual abuse adding that her abuser died 17 years ago. She added that growing up as a child with her mother and stepfather was uneventful.
Her words: “It’s important to note also is that my abuser died 17 years after the first sexual abuse, and here I am launching my foundation 29 years after. To every victim out there, growing up as a child with my mum and stepfather was uneventful. I was never shown love, kindness, or attention. I became a woman before I had the opportunity to become a girl.
“For every shame, pain, and bitterness I have experienced so far in my life, I still find myself getting stronger because I can’t afford to be useless. Don’t let your perpetrators damage you mentally and never allow anyone to take your confidence away from you.”
She explained further that society stigmatizes victims when they speak out on their rape experience. While calling for a day for the Boy Child, just like the October 11 yearly celebration of the Girl Child, she said that every child is a priority.
Her words: “Some mothers, aunties, and co will even shut their defiled kids up when they report the husband’s sexual abuse.
“That’s why I am baring it all out for the good of humanity and for other victims out there that had been threatened and bullied into silence by their perpetrators, not considering the emotional and mental damage it has on victims. You owe no abuser your silence.
“For some, we will pursue justice, so they won’t have to wait till they are comfortable enough like I waited till it became late to get justice because my abuser died before | could fight for myself. For some, it will be just therapy sessions and the healing process.
“Like our tag line says, “every child is a priority” stems from the belief that only the girl child can be abused, in our case, we are looking out for both the girl and the boy child. It will be shocking to note that the number of boys being abused is just slightly lower than the number of pils being abused. So this means boys are constantly abused as well.
“LLB Foundation would like to use this opportunity to call on UNICEF and the UN to also create the International Day of the Boy Child, just like the October 11 yearly celebration of the Girl Child. This beams more attention also on the Boy Child also,” she added.