Rape and Anti-Rape Movements

By ÌyanuOlúwa Fágbiyè T.

The #MeToo movement seems to be having more on their plate in the last few weeks and it seems not to be ending anytime soon as rape incidents have increased exponentially. Some say why this is gaining attention is simply because it’s highly reported and the victims are speaking out even if, rape is rape and it shouldn’t be encouraged by any sane human being. It’s sad that many people have been made vulnerable because someone decides to take advantage and gain carnal knowledge of them. Rape victims are special people, infact strong people who have at one point or another experienced the unthinkable. The unthinkable that happens in that secluded place, an experience which one is forcefully made to go through. An experience that totally damages one mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically name it…

An experience that totally shuts one away from the world, makes one difficult to be assertive, lowers one self-esteem and could as well lead to death Several rape reports in the last few weeks from Uwa to Tina, Jennifer, and Barakat who were all raped and murdered have proven that women are on the receiving end of this violence. This is not to say men or boys don’t get raped which might be under reported because of highly placed patriarchal system being run across the world and here in Nigeria. Uwa’s case caused so much outrage because the heinous act took place in an environment believed to be ‘holy’ or  a place anyone goes to find solace. How long will it take the Nigerian government to find a lasting solution to this issue? How effective has the enforcement of the already-made law for such acts been? How many people have been punished for abusing other individuals?

The claims for modesty in terms of dressing shouldn’t be an excuse for those who perpetrate the act. We find mentally unstable people on the streets, why are rapist not attracted to them even though we clearly know some lay even with them or underage girls and boys who are daily molested were they seductive in their appearance? If you make comments like this you are only enabling the perpetrators. Take Barakat’s case for example, she was raped and murdered in her hijab I do not think the hijab has for once considered to be a seductive wear.

Just last week, the Senate had a sitting in the National Assembly to deliberate on the issue of rape where some of the lawmakers supported the motion that castration should be punishment for anyone caught as its done in many other parts of the world. This wasn’t approved because when placed side by side with females who also engage in such act biologically, castration can’t be done. Whether castration or no castration, the act committed is more grievous because memories can’t be wiped it remains with these victims for life. Probably you haven’t heard that, even with castration, people still get violated by these sexual offenders which clearly shows that rape is a thing of the mindset. There’s no way we want to see this that it doesn’t come to our family system and how the boy child is raised: what are they exposed to? Do parents even teach young men sex education? Who cares for the boy child? The result of what we’ve neglected overtime is what we see playing out now. As girls are trained and given sex education before the age of puberty, boys also, shouldn’t be left out of the training. We need to look after the boy child even as mother instructs and discuss the girl child on how to behave in the society the boy child should be trained.

To rape victims — with pain! I repeat, with pain! Ensure you make your voice heard. You’ve got the voice, never feel intimidated by what people will say. Endeavor to say your truth and never worry whether the world chooses to believe or not and let this continue to be at the back of the mind of those who choose to believe or not that rape victims won’t be silenced.

To be frank, a lot has been damaged that makes it really hard to properly do things or return back to a state of normalcy, but only to live everyday in pretence that all is fine. Is it the panic attacks some victims experience at times or the swing mood that occurs occasionally? As a victim you shouldn’t suffer in silence. It is glaring that the law over time have failed to rehabilitate the victims. However, we should all firmly hold to the belief that all will be for the best.

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