Archive for July, 2012

July 30, 2012

I do not usually blog about politics for a nuber of reasons and I certainly avoid reblogging political stuff but this strikes me as just wrong wrong wrong.

For the governors to suggest that their support of Jonathan may have alienated them in their constituencies is an admission of the deep separatist and feudal/imperial sentiments in the north. The headline ‘power must return to the north’ is incredibly arrogant. The Presidency of Nigeria is not a regional prize. This is very dangerous rhetoric indeed. It bodes ill for the corporate existence of the country and alienates the southerners.

The Nigerian Oracle

There were indications at the weekend that PresidentGoodluck Jonathan may not get a easy ride for his re-election in 2015 following a move by the northern governors to ensure someone from their region takes over power in 2015.

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July 30, 2012



The Women’s Crisis Center Owerri is establishing a Women’s Legal Defense Trust Fund to aggregate funds from a variety of sources and to make grants with those funds to lawyers and organizations litigating cases that can have a broad impact on the protection, expansion and interpretation of women’s rights in Nigeria.



  • Case law and apex court decisions have the potential to make sweeping changes in women’s rights protection and interpretation in Nigeria
  • Women and the lawyers that represent them frequently lack the funds required to access the justice system and to sustain litigation for a long time and through appeals
  • There are not enough public interest lawyers and NGO’s litigating women’s rights protection and interpretation
  • We want to systematically and strategically develop and report a body of case law to enhance and institutionalize legislative and policy changes that improve women’s rights.



Crowd Funding & Donations

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July 28, 2012


When we returned to the village from the US one of the things I couldn’t wrap my head around was that women had to do the family laundry by hand. I hated doing laundry by hand, what happened to washing machines? Well there was no power in the village but even my town living relatives didn’t own one. How backward I thought.

When I got married (at 17) and asked my husband for a washing machine his infamous response was “There are dozens of people without jobs and you want a washing machine?” but he wouldn’t pay those people to wash for us, he expected me to.

I hated washing for so many reasons; the time could have been spent better reading or listening to music but most of all because I didn’t want ‘dish pan hands’. I’m very particular about my hands. I think them quite beautiful and manicure them regularly and religiously. I had no intention of spoiling my manicure because someone thought it was ‘women’s’ work to do laundry and do it by hand.

I didn’t even want to wash my underwear myself. Of course my husband expected me to wash his but wouldn’t wash mine. The men I grew up with felt washing a woman’s underwear the height of insult. “She expected me to wash her underwear” one said to me with disbelief and indignation. I took the hint and never asked any man to wash mine. I did not see it as a sign of anything much anyway, just like I didn’t see washing a man’s underwear as anything much either. Certainly not a declaration of love.

I lived with a lover and his wife for a while, we were one big happy family till the day she saw me washing his underwear. Mind you this was not by hand, it was with a washing machine (he was more progressive than my husband) and I was just trying to be efficient. She took it very personally. “You are washing my husband’s underwear?!” she fumed. “Ummm. No. I just put them in the washing machine and then took them out into the dryer.” It was a huge uproar. I guess it was okay to have sex with her husband but not touch his underwear. I don’t get it either.

Underwear was an area of conflict. I always wanted pretty underwear and when I grew up pretty lingerie. The women I grew up with in the US always wore pretty sexy underwear; the women in my father’s village saw pretty underwear as sinful. Only ‘sluts’ wore sexy underwear. Lingerie was evil.  My father had to buy me underwear as my primary care giver. I think he went to the market and said “give me the cheapest one’s you have”.  I hated them and hated washing them.

I have lots and lots of sexy lingerie now, drawers full many unopened as a response to the lack of it when I was a young dependent daughter and wife. Curiously, I noticed recently that I don’t wear my sexy lacy lingerie when I go to see my lover. I wear it for me, I feel good when I wear it and I never see my lover when I’m wearing it. When I go see my lover I’m usually wearing a sports bra and my cotton comfort briefs. I go to see him to feel good. What will the shrink make of that I wonder?


July 21, 2012

Here There and Everywhere

From AOL/Huffpost

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments, the governmental body in Nigeria that regulates the nation’s museum systems, is demanding the return of 32 artifacts recently acquired by the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Consisting of various bronze and ivory sculptures looted during the Benin Massacre of 1897, the Director-General of the commission, Yusuf Abdallah Usman, states that the pieces were illegally taken by the British Expedition as spoils of war.

The MFA in Boston acquired the pieces last month as a gift from New York banker and collector Robert Owen Lehman, who purchased the Benin pieces in the 1950s and 1970s. But the pieces were originally looted by British soldiers in the late 1890s, following the Benin massacre of 1897. In a statement made by Usman, the commission stated: “Without mincing words, these artworks are heirlooms of the great people of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria…

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July 19, 2012

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

Since I began my work with those labeled mentally ill it’s been clear that trauma plays a large part in the lives of most of those with psychiatric labels. This blog covers this reality again and again. This simple observation that many of us have made and many others want to deny is beginning to be largely supported in the literature and science. We deny it at a cost to everyone in our abusive and traumatic culture. By bringing it to light we might change it. We might also treat the vulnerable who get labeled mentally ill as they are, traumatized people who need gentle loving care. Something not on offer in most psychiatric wards and mental health systems. In fact most people get grossly re-traumatized in such settings.

From BrainBlogger:

Many studies have linked childhood maltreatment and adversity to mental and physical health disorders later in life. Most of the studies…

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Grounds for Divorce in Nigeria – Cruelty & Domestic Violence

July 17, 2012

Cruelty is an old common law ground for divorce which does not exist under the Matrimonial Causes Act but can be used to establish that the respondent has behaved in ways that the petitioner can no longer be reasonably expected to live with him or her as provided in section 15(2).

Cruelty is the intentional an malicious infliction of physical and mental harm and suffering or a reasonable fear of further harm. It also includes the continuous infliction of minor acts of ill treatment that are likely to cause the victim to break down emotionally or mentally. However, temper and nagging are not enough to establish cruelty.

Strong evidence of cruelty includes police reports, medical records and eye witness testimony are desirable but not indispensable. The court is required to consider the entire evidence and decide whether it gives rise to a finding of cruelty. Generally conduct that endangers life, limb or health will amount to cruelty.

This will include persistent, pervasive and excessive violence or threat of violence, deliberately infecting a spouse with a sexually transmitted disease, constant displays of rage, use and abuse of juju/voodoo or religious doctrine neglect of a spouses physical needs for food, shelter and clothing and verbal and emotional abuse.

It should be noted that under the act the requirement is to prove that the petitioner/victim can no longer be reasonably expected to live with the respondent and the burden of proof is significantly lighter than it was to prove cruelty under common law.

The Nigerian case law on section 15(2) is remarkably well developed. Make sure your lawyer is knowledgeable about them and can cite the appropriate cases.


Grounds for Divorce in Nigeria – Adultery and Intolerability

July 16, 2012

Its not enough to establish that a party to a marriage has committed adultery ( and contrary to what I have read elsewhere recently it DOES NOT only apply to the wife or female party). Remember evidence of adultery can be circumstantial, the court will consider preponderance of evidence and not proof beyond reasonable doubt.  The court will look for opportunity and familiarity.

There are a number of circumstances were adultery is generally presumed

1. where the parties are living together

2. Bigamy is proof of adultery

3. Confessions of adultery are also proof

4. The  fathers name registered on a child’s birth certificate

5. Frequent visits to brothels

6. Sexually transmitted diseases that the other spouse does not also have

The petitioner in a divorce case also needs to prove that he or she now finds it intolerable to live with the respondent. This intolerability need not arise as a result of the adultery but there must be evidence of intolerability. If for instance a wife no longer desires to have sex with her husband and her husband resorts to raping her that could be evidence of intolerability.  On the other hand if a wife does have sex with her husband after he commits adultery does not condone him.

Evidence of intolerability is completely subjective, its all about what the petitioner feels and not what a reasonable man or woman may feel.

Its not enough to prove adultery, to sustain this ground for a divorce there must be both and there must be evidence of both.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to get in touch


July 13, 2012

Most abusers are narcissists. Here’s a pretty good guide for spotting and avoiding them. If there is one ting I have learned in my more than 15 years working with domestic violence and as a survivor myself of childhood violence is that abusers are a specific personality type. Recognizing that and the traits reduces the risks of becoming ensnared. Of course there is no such thing as zero risk but every bit helps.

KinkyLittleGirl - On Abuse and BDSM

Oh, how much of this rings true!  I don’t know the original source of this, but it’s brilliant.  
Learning about malignant narcissism helped me probably more than anything other than what I learned about sex addiction to understand what happened and how I got caught in the snare of an abuser again after so long successfully spotting and avoiding them.  When you realize how much the deck was stacked against you from the start, you can stop blaming yourself for the things that were never your responsibility to start with, and wouldn’t have made a difference anyways even if you had done them differently.
Interesting that it starts out with lying and ends with penitence,  since whopping and verifiable lies bracketed both the beginning and end of the relationship, the starter one being something he tearfully confessed as having been done to try to protect me, one of the

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What Would You Do If You Heard Your Neighbour Violently Abusing His Wife?

July 12, 2012

REMINDER: Media Invitation / African Women Economic Summit 2012/ Online Press Conference / African Development Bank and New faces New Voices Invite you to an Online Press Conference

July 12, 2012

Database of Press Releases related to Africa - APO-Source



REMINDER: Media Invitation / African Women Economic Summit 2012/ Online Press Conference / African Development Bank and New faces New Voices Invite you to an Online Press Conference


LAGOS, Nigeria, July 12, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) , New Faces New Voices (NFNV) is hosting its second African Women Economic Summit (AWES) in Lagos, Nigeria, 12-14 July 2012 .


Join us for the online press conference and ask your questions live to AfDB Head of Gender and Social Development Divison Ms. Ginette-Ursule Yoman and New Faces New Voices Executive Director Ms. Nomsa Daniels.


WHEN: Friday, July 13th at 13:00 Lagos, Nigeria (Time Converter:


WHERE: Online (Log-in details will be sent to all registered media prior to the online press conference)


HOW IT WORKS: This service is FREE and only requires a computer connected to…

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