Nollywood divasDomestic violence against women, especially in Africa, has remained a thorny issue. Across the globe, governments, voluntary organisations and philanthropists have been collaborating actively through a variety of programmes to combat it.

As part of their own contribution and as a means of checking the trend, four Nigerian actresses teamed up to create more awareness about the situation in a short film entitled, New Horizon. The actresses, Kate Henshaw, Rita Dominic, Uche Jombo and Funke Akindele said they felt an urgent need to challenge the social prejudices and beam the spotlight on the subject. At a press conference to announce the wrap up of the movie at the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel in Calabar, Cross River State,

Henshaw, who spoke on behalf of the other actresses, said they had to highlight the issue in order to protect African women and Nigerian women in particular, not just against the menace, but also from the attendant mockery, fear and isolation. Henshaw said they were reacting to a recent report that between half and two thirds of Nigerian women are at risk of domestic violence in their homes, adding that, although men can also be affected by domestic violence, it is the women who suffer extensively. Domestic violence, she said, is present everywhere in the world, but Africa’s discriminatory laws and the prevalent culture of silence and stigma for the victims continue to turn down the volume on the problem.

New Horizon is the story of triumph over abuse of four women from different walks of life who meet together within a self-help group for women. They help each other get over and through their various challenges and arrive at a new horizon in their individual lives. “My wonderful colleague and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment at the wrap up of New Horizon. It is a gift and a dedication to all the women of Nigeria, Africa and the world at large,” she added. “We needed to take a step further to do something that would create more awareness for the women.

These ladies showed up to partner with me to come up with a script, get a director, shoot a film which we hope to take across the world festivals and showcase this scourge to men and women all over the world. It is a start. Visual is very strong. When people see things it would stick in their minds and hopefully it would cause a change in their hearts to stop domestic violence,” Henshaw stressed, adding that domestic violence affects all social groups and can consist of physical, sexual or psychological abuse. The movie is slated for premiere on Ebony Life Television.

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