Silence Is Not Golden

#SpokenWord Poetry presented on 6th September, 2017 at the Symposium On Sexual Violence and Launch of SALVUS Platform.

So let me speak to you about Silence. 
Yes, good old Silence.

You see, they say Silence is Golden
But the number of girls out there with their souls broken
Is proof that Silence is not always a virtue. 
Yes, Silence is not golden
As a matter of fact, silence can be costly,
And even, more so, deadly.

Maybe evil men are not to blame for the ills of humanity
But the good men, who see evil, look away, and do nothing
The ones who turn a blind eye, who let evil win

We were raised to never ‘speak up’, ‘speak out’, or ‘speak against’ 
We were told to mind our own business, and always look the other way

So when we see a young girl who’s been sexually abused

We say to ourselves: _”oh that’s not me”_
_”Well, that’s sad, but she’ll get over it”_
_”It’s her fault, her headache”_
Or perhaps: _”…nobody is gonna listen”_

So she’s hurting and weak
But she takes it all in. 
She thinks silence is a noble thing, 
She hides her tears from everybody, the society
And gives her predator the hope of another bloody win.

Each time, she chooses to be quiet, 
She strengthens the arms of sexual violence.

But I’m tired, tired of seeing
Girls, ladies, and women, (and even boys) with Beautiful faces
But a broken soul beneath the surface

It’s time we rose against the perils of
Stigma, Discrimination, and Silence
It’s time to speak out, speak up, and to speak against SexualViolence.

It’s time *YOU* made use of platforms like *#mySalvus*
Where your voice can be heralded
Yes, where you can get an audience

It’s time to speak your truth
It’s time to tell your story
It’s time to break this vicious cycle

Remember, *Silence is not always Golden*
As a matter of fact, it can be costly, and even deadly.

 – Lekan Owonikoko

I am *theimisiOluwa*; And I raise my voice to #StopSexualViolence. #MySalvus

Salvus (meaning safe) is a web-based platform developed to facilitate safe and confidential reporting of sexual violence incidents and provide access to available comprehensive support service and relevant information. Salvus is a HACEY Health Initiative project with support from Stars Foundation, With and For Girls Collective and EMPower .

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