Rape: Stephanie Okereke urges prosecution of brother, pledges support for victim

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Actress Stephanie Okereke-Linus has reacted to the alleged rape

incident involving his brother, Prince Daniel Okereke as reported by

Vanguard Newspaper over the weekend.

I am distraught and devastated to hear of the recent allegation of

rape brought against a relative of mine, Daniel Okereke (my brother).

While it is a very difficult time for me, and my family; I feel the

need to make clear my position, lest there be any doubt. Rape is rape,

regardless of who the face of the accused is.

Indeed, the irony is not lost on me. I have spent my lifelong career

advocating and living my conviction that women around the world should

be able to live free of violence, sexual harassment or any form of

abuse against their persons. This conviction led me to be involved in

numerous initiatives combating violence against women in several

countries including the U.S, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The conviction also led me to place much of my energy on my work with

Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), a passion that dates back to my time at

the University of Calabar.

As a student, I heard a story about young girls who had been forced

into early marriage and were suffering the negative and embarrassing

effects of VVF. The story stayed in my consciousness and drove me, for

years, to seek ways to raise awareness on the condition; leading to my

work with a team of dedicated doctors to carry out repair surgeries

for VVF victims across the country; and my self-produced, soon to be

released movie, 'DRY.'

So, again, it is indeed heart breaking for me to receive and deal with

news alleging a family member of mine is an alleged perpetrator of

sexual violence against a woman. I am devastated.

This case is now in Nigeria's criminal justice system as the accused

awaits arraignment. I have also encouraged and assured the alleged

victim of my stance against rape and applaud her for her bravery to

upset the culture of silence, in Nigeria; even as I accord deference

and patiently wait for the criminal justice system to determine the

guilt or innocence of my brother.

For Nigerian press and blogs; I call on you to please report this case

in an ethical manner. I am a married woman living my life. The alleged

transgression of my relative does not make it mine. The focus should

be the impact of rape on the alleged victim, and resources for other

alleged victims, not me.

Some members of the press and blogs have turned me into the accuser;

using my name for sensational headlines and putting my images,

exclusively, in their stories. This is a form of victimization of me

as a woman, its unethical and extremely hurtful. I am not the alleged


I therefore please ask all bloggers and the media who have placed my

pictures and name to this story to refrain from further using me to

sensationalise this story.

I thank my fans and all well-wishers for your continued support and

ask for your continued prayers.

God bless.

Credit: vanguard

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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