LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!
Yea, it is high time we talked about this menace that has been in existence since time immemorial.
RAPE… What does it mean?
Rape according to Section 357 of the Criminal Code is an unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl without her consent or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind or by fear of harm or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in the case of a married woman by impersonating her husband. Section 358 prescribes life imprisonment with or without caning for anyone found guilty of rape.
In the middle of the surge on news on rape, I said to a friend, one of the advantages of social media is that it helps to publicize this heinous crimes that have come to stay in our society. I remarked that there were several other cases going on and will continue until we do something, it is sad that most of some of these cases are been swept under the carpet by the parents, guardian, neighbors, the authorities,etc. More than the ones we see on social media, there are much more cases going on that we will never know of and until we are intentional about ending rape, it may forever haunt our society.
Would you be surprised if I say by my estimation, about 75-80% of females have either been raped, almost raped, molested, assaulted or harassed at once or several times. That most victims decide to keep a secret or only share among fellow females does not mean that it does not happen. Many more females and sadly males too are going to experience any of this dignity depriving crimes until we do something about it.
For the teenager that was raped severally by her uncle and the son till she died from complications.
For the 4 years old that was defiled by a security personnel.
For the 22 years old that was raped and brutally murdered in a church.
For the 18 years old raped and killed within her parents’ compound.
For the 12 years old that was raped by different men.
For the 18 years old that was raped by 5 men
For the 2 years old raped to death.
For the 14 years old that was raped severally and threatened by a neighbor.
For the other rape victims unknown to the world or the social media.
It is a lifetime of torture, distrust, shame, pain, hurt, brokenness, disappointed and anger. To rape a person is to kill that person psychologically and emotionally, the trauma is unimaginable.
A culture, environment or society where rape is common and in which social attitudes or practices work to trivialize sexual violence, make rape seem normal or shift responsibility to from the rapist to rape victims.
This rape culture is one major reason rape is rampant in our society, don’t be ignorant, rape has always been common event in our society, just that most go unreported due to the rape culture. Some of these rape culture are:
- That is her, the girl that was raped. The victim is usually tagged and stigmatized.
- What is she looking for at that time of the night.?
- Why did she go to his house, can’t she stay in her own house?
- She must have dressed half naked/ seductively, she deserved rape.
- She is a known prostitute, she deserves to be raped.
- Why didn’t she shout or fight, she must have enjoyed it.
- Why are you just saying it now after so many years, I don’t believe your story.
- You too, why are you so fine and curvy/sexy, “body no be wood na” and man must be man”.
- You should have allowed the rape instead of struggling.
….and the victim shaming and blaming goes on…
Let’s quit pretending, our women and girls are not safe, we walk and move around in fear at the sight of a male figure especially when they are in groups. I still remember running most times in the night whenever I was sent on errand as a child and teenager, the fear is still there. I remember so many harassment from “brothers and uncles” in the neighborhood and compound back then, or what do you call a grown man talking trash to a child of 12/13 years and trying to touch in sensitive parts, asking to take a child out to have fun with her??
What is the root of this rape culture? how did we get here?
It’s time we agree to unlearn some of the bad things we learnt and condoned while growing up which have contributed to the rape culture.
Please Note Some of them:
- Only the female child need “iron hand” so they will not “spoil” and bring shame upon the family, the male child is easy to train and so needs little or no “iron hand”.
- The topic of sex is forbidden in the home, sex education is a taboo in the home, never discussed and parents expect kids to learn on their own.
- The average male folk mostly think the thing there is to a female is the body and ultimately sex.
- Most male folks see nothing wrong in fantasizing over a lady’s body and ‘tapping current’ i.e touching sensitive parts of a female’s body intentionally.
- Some male folks believe women saying ‘No’ means she is forming and to show you are a man, you pester her or even force her.
- The believe that when a lady visits you in your home, she wants sex.
- The believe that a lady who dressed in a way “half-naked” or seductive to you wants sex or deserves to be raped.
- The believe that once a woman has “chop” your money, you must have sex with her even if it is rape or else you’ll be tagged a “maga”.
- The wrong mentality of bragging about “conquering” a woman to fellow males.
- The believe that once she agrees to date you, her body belongs to you.
- The practice of catcalling a lady on the street and cussing at her if she rejects such harassment, they say “you no even fine sef” “olosho”…
- Sex is natural, sexual urge must be satisfied, “if I don’t do it, I will fall sick or die”.
..and this believe and practice is passed from man to man and generations to generations..
These are some of my suggestions:
- Learn that a child not trained will eventually destroy the one trained, who spoils the female child? The male right? Then we should teach the male child not to spoil the girl child. Teach the boy morals and respect for others and their bodies and choices. If you emphasize female virginity make sure to put emphasis on male virginity too.
- Start talking about body parts and privacy to children at an early age, teach them boundaries when playing and respect for others. Let’s have sex education at home as soon as they can comprehend the topic and deepen the conversation as they mature. Let them know about sexual violations and abuse, let them be better informed to make better decisions.
- Let’s talk about all there is to know about both gender, teach the male that there is more to a woman than her body/sex.
- Know that when you begin to lust after a woman’s body, you send some signal to your brain and the sexual organ picks it up which can lead to desperation to have that woman or any woman at all. Stop touching/tapping a woman’s body without consent. It is not acceptable to tap a woman’s bum, caressing her hand, face, hair on the street or anywhere else, it doesn’t make you a real man, it makes you a snatcher of human dignity.
- If a woman wants something, she knows, if she says no leave her alone, if she wants you let her say it. If she says you’re not man enough because you respected her no, it’s her loss, your manhood is not defined by violence or being forceful on a lady. Most important is you have your integrity intact.
- A lady coming to your home does not mean she wants sex, she may just want to hangout and talk. She is in your house is not license to rape her, if she wants sex let her say so, else control yourself not to land in jail. If you lack self control, meet with ladies in public until you have self control.
- That a woman dress in a way unacceptable to your moral standard does not mean she is soliciting to be raped. Even a sex worker whose work is paid sex standing on the street”half-naked” has the right to say no, if she doesn’t want sex with you. Look at it like this, when you see a mall, the goods are kept in open shelf for people to see, do you then break into the mall and pack their goods and run away? I bet No, because that is a crime of robbery. Same here, stop giving lame excuses to blame the victims. Just an analogy though. If you’re enticed by a lady’s dressing and she says no to you, then waka or better still lower your gaze and stop sexualizing a lady’s dressing.
- As long as she is not a worker who is into sex for money, that you gave her money or helped her is not a license to have sex with her. If she consents, fine, if not, leave her alone. You were not threatened or held to ransom for the money, if you can’t give money or help without expecting sex in return, then better you don’t help or give money out.
- “Conquering” a woman does not prove your manhood, stop molesting women and bragging to your friends. Whatever is the meaning of conquering a woman self, is she a colony, are you in a war? Give yourselves brain.
- No man owns another person’s body irrespective of the relationship between you, claiming ownership over another person’s body is pure slavery.
- Stop catcalling ladies, stop cussing at them when they ignore/reject you. You are harassing them publicly and violating their right to dignity. This is not right and should not and never be a guy thing.
- Sex is a natural thing, yes, sexual urge must be satisfied, no. Sometimes you have to control it, if there is no willing partner. And no, you will not fall sick or die if you don’t have sex.
I will suggest the following:
✓ A review of the Criminal laws as it borders on rape and other sexual offences to include modern day realities, filling the loopholes, time lapse issue, properly defined consent age, marital rape?, inclusion of rape of an adult male after proper analysis of it’s possibility, etc..
✓ Strict and proper investigation by the enforcement agents.
✓ Rapid trial of the cases.
✓ Establishment of separate Courts to handle this cases speedily in all divisions in all states.
✓ Rape should be a capital offence with strict punishment.
✓ Punishment should be castration and life imprisonment.
✓ False rape accusations should be thoroughly investigated and punished.
It is no longer right to turn the other way or mind our business on the issue of rape, it is now our collective responsibility to right this wrong and bring justice to all victims.
BLESSING O. JOSEPH ESQ.