Sterling One Foundation says it has screened the film, Chatroom to mark the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The United Nations marks the 16 Days of Activism against GBV annually to create public awareness and influence policy that protects the rights of women.
The campaign also challenges discriminatory behaviours against the female gender across communities.
Mrs Olapeju Ibekwe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the foundation, said in a statement that the screening of the film, which took place in Lagos on Wednesday, was to highlight different types of abuses women face.
Ibekwe said that the screening featured an interactive session which gave viewers the opportunity to share their thoughts on measures to reduce violence against women and girls, drawing insights from their various communities.
Speaking on the importance of the campaign and the screening, Ibekwe said that many women and girls don’t know they have been abused, given how commonplace certain abusive attitudes have become.
“At Sterling One Foundation, where gender empowerment is one of our thematic focal areas, we consider it crucial to help more women understand their rights better and know when they are being trampled upon.
“For us, awareness is the foundation of the work, as it empowers more women to take action, speak up and break cycles of abuse,” Ibekwe added.
She said that the foundation is working with partners to continue the advocacy for a reduction in gender-based violence.
She said that the foundation is also creating support for survivors via helplines where victims can break their silence, speak with counsellors and get help to overcome their trauma.
The statement also quoted Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, wife of Ogun State governor and special guest of honour, as lending her voice on changing the narratives on GBV.
“In Ogun State, we have the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, the Family Support Unit, and other shelters for women.
“But I have to say it is not enough. We need an end-to-end solution for survivors; a comprehensive programme that not only addresses their physical and mental health but provides an economic safety net for as long as they require it,” the statement quoted Abiodun as saying.
The statement also quoted Ulla Elisabeth Mueller, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), as calling for collaborative efforts to tackle GBV.
Represented by Dr Esther Somefun, Gender/Reproductive Health Analyst (UNFPA), Mueller said: “Putting an end to this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transforming harmful social norms, and empowering women and girls.”
The statement also quoted Ms Hansatu Adegbite, the Executive Director of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), as commending the leadership of the Sterling One Foundation for inspiring and empowering women leveraging entertainment.
Adegbite, who co-hosted the event, said that the bold steps taken by the foundation are in alignment with the essence of WIMBIZ, which is about inspiring and empowering women.
She added that the theme of the 2022 16 Days of Activism is critical, calling on all women to unite to stop the violence against not just girls but boys in our various homes and communities.
The statement echoed the reactions of some viewers of the movie, who stressed the need for more leaders, family members and even peers to hold themselves more accountable for what happens within their communities.
The viewers, while highlighting the role the culture of silence plays in society, said that survivors of GBV could only speak up when they know that someone will act and justice will be served.
The movie, Chatroom stars the likes of Odunlade Adekola, Sambasa Nzeribe, Ibrahim Suleiman, Tony Umez, Omawumi Megbele, and Nengi Adoki.
It portrays a typical local community where the stigmatisation of victims leads to very few cases of abuse, especially sexual abuse, being reported.