Thursday, 25 October 2012


Laila Jean St. Matthew Daniel is one of the few voices fighting against abuse of women in Nigeria as the Executive Director of ACTS Generation, an NGO that  guards against domestic violence and abuse. She is the biological mother of Funke Kuti recently she granted an interview where she said she was once a victim of domestic violence. Her interview below

WHAT is ACTS Generation all about?
ACTS Generation is an organisation that is built to cater for abused women, youths and children, even men. 
This organisation, which is non government, nonprofit and voluntary is specially committed to cater for the healing of the mind and body of troubled people, especially women and ‘at-risk’ children, using biblical principles irrespective of class, race, ethnic or tribal affiliation. I am the executive director cum coordinator of this project and it was launched last year with the Lagos State government’s Ministry of Women Affairs supporting us. I’ve been in this for as long as I remember because it’s what I’m duly passionate about.  For more click on read more

Why do you preach against domestic violence and abuse and not other causes?
We strongly believe that you do not need to resort to violence before you get your point noted, you don’t need to resort to violence to resolve an issue. When you lash out, you are the one that is out of control and you need help. So, that is what we are trying to solve. We also found out that people who are violated are most times misunderstood and these are the perpetrators of the reaction and I tell them that you are not the one that is at fault but your other half are the ones that need to be examined. If it is the woman that is the abuser then she’s got a big problem, so that is it. Thus, I have a passion for women who are abused and violated, whether emotionally or verbally. People go through emotional violence, domestic violence and verbal violence where they won’t know what is going on. Most people refer to it as nagging but there is a stage where nagging turns to verbal abuse and you are abusing the man or the woman. Other people are seeing to other causes but we feel little attention is given to this and that is why I’ve spearheaded it.
So, what is ACTS Generation up to this year?
Like we did last year, we are organising a walk on Thursday October 25, 2012 from Ojuelegba through Western Avenue to Teslim Balogun Stadium where we would be advocating against domestic violence and abuse on people. It’s actually tagged ‘Stomp Out Domestic Violence and Abuse’ awareness walk,  and we have entertainers like Funke Kuti, Weird MC, The Engager, Kate Henshaw and Funke Akindele walking with us. We are using the month of October because it’s the month that the world has chosen to campaign against abuse and violations. Throughout the year, we try to help people sort out their problems legally and morally, 
How does your organisation help abused people?
People going through abuse must be ready for help; if not, they keep going back because we have had such cases. The level of interference is totally dependent on the victims. If it is heavy or physical abuse, we try and see the abuser to seek therapists but if the abuser refuses and calls our bluff, such persons would be picked up if he or she refuses to stop battering their partners because it’s now a punishable offence in Lagos State, but if it is minor it goes back to the abused person’s decision. And when it is minor, the first step is to invite the abuser and find a lasting solution because this is not an NGO that disrupts marriages but if the marriage or relationship has broken down, then the children are the most concerned and in such cases you find out that emotions are gone and it’s always the abused looking for a way out.
Your passion about this project seems to come from a personal experience, how correct is this? 
Well, yes, I had the experience. I was once a victim of domestic abuse. I was involved in an abusive relationship once with my husband. I have been abused and violated myself. It’s a situation you never knew or imagined would happen but it happened. May God rest his soul as he later became the best of all men; he was a fantastic human being.
You said you were once violated, how were you violated?
Domestic violence, physical violence and it actually started with a hot dirty slap and all that but I have healed, I didn’t know but I started healing when I started having a reconciliation with myself and I knew that I’m wonderfully, beautifully and intricately made by God almighty and nobody has the right to violate and abuse me. You see, there is a circle called a circle of violence, the first time, you are shocked and surprised and you keep hoping that he or she would change and as you are hoping so your self-esteem keeps eroding and going down because you begin to ask yourself questions and wonder if it was you or your fault, and when people say you should leave, you say it’s not that easy and I can tell you that the people who are batterers are charmers.



  1. This one issue I don't I don’t joke with, domestic violence is a major problem Africa Nigeria in particular, I have said it and I will continue to say it if a man hits you he will continue to hit you please run for your life. God bless you ma for this project.

  2. more women should come out and talk about it to help women in abused relationship know that you can actually come out of it stronger

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