Zainab Shehu was narrating to Home Front how her mother blamed her when she told her a stranger in a cab she boarded back home tried to harass her by feeling her legs.
“I came home and tried to tell my mom what happened, and she made it my fault because I was wearing a tight-fitting gown without a proper hijab to go with it,” she said.
“It was a scary experience for me because I was the only woman in the cab and it was pretty late on that day but the fear I felt that night turned to anger when my mom said it was my fault,” she added.
While sexual harassment has been a pervasive problem for women throughout history, in most countries it is illegal in employment places, the academia or anywhere else even though it still happens.
Only a few weeks ago, an audio clip of a university lecturer sexually harassing one of his students went viral on the internet.
Although the exposure led to his resignation, the said Head of English Department, University of Ilorin was said to have engaged in the sexual and corrupt acts in collaboration with his colleagues in the department.
Tina Aliu, a student of Biology, University of Abuja, told our reporter that harassment was not just in school but also everywhere in the society although their occurrence in schools and workplaces was more rampant.
She said before securing admission, she had worked as a sales person at a pharmacy and that what prompted her to leave was when her boss began to make unsolicited comments about her body parts and also on occasions ‘accidentally’ brushing sexual parts of his body against hers.
“I warned him am not like that but he did not appreciate it; he kept on persisting, to the point that he would make sneak sexual attacks at me, that was when I knew I had to leave, after all the pay was not that much,” she said.
Tina also said she never thought she dressed indecently to warrant such treatment from her boss, but believed he needed help because he was not only harassing her but also other female customers who visited the pharmacy.
Gabriel Jatau said he suffered his own harassment from a lecturer during his last year in the university when he missed a test and approached the lecturer for a make-up test.
“The lecturer is well known for these kinds of things with ladies, but since am not a lady I thought I could settle him with money and get away with it.
“But the lecturer demanded that I present my then girlfriend to him. I swore to him that I didn’t have a girlfriend, but he knew and even described her to me. He then insisted I bring her to him warning me that she must accept his demand.
“I told my girlfriend about the issue and begged her to help me out so I don’t have an extra year. The lady broke up with me and I ended up spending two more years in the university before the course was finally taken away from the lecturer,” Jatau said.
Jatau who is now a youth corps member, told Home Front that he (the lecturer) still found a way to frustrate the same girl he was dating until she reported him to the then HOD of their department, and even at that other lecturers took over from him, and ensured she graduated with very poor grades.
“I still blame myself for that because if I hadn’t approached him, she wouldn’t have had to be singled out that way,” he said.
“She is a very decent girl