Undoubtedly, rape cases in Nigeria have skyrocketed, and have become the trending news in the country.
Recently, it was reported that Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-years old female, was brutally raped and murdered in a church (where she was found in a pool of blood). May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Unfortunately, Uwa wasn’t, and hasn’t been the only victim of rape. There are numerous of them out there we do not know about.
I don’t care what the Oxford Dictionary definition of Rapists is. I say, Rapists are Demonic creatures that put on the flesh of humans as camouflage, and seek the earth as their abode. Humans shouldn’t be this cruel.
Research conducted in the year 2014 by the national survey on violence against children in Nigeria discovered that; one in every four girls and one in every ten boys experience sexual violence. Rape indeed, is being taken with levity.
But then, if the toll of rape occurrence is as high as this, how come we hear less of the reported cases? Well, I will tell you why.
In Nigeria, the society has contributed immensely to the “non-speaking” attitude of these innocent victims.
Gender discrimination is a big factor. In some parts of the country, women are mostly seen as second class. While men are made to believe they always have the upper hand in everything, including exercising assault.
Many ladies would rather keep quiet, and suffer in silence, than speak up because of the wrong labelling by the society.
She’s afraid that if she speaks up she will lose her face and be stigmatized for the rest of her life. She’s afraid of being labelled as “damaged.” And she fears that no man will ever want to marry a rape victim. Hence, she bottles it all up, and pretends as if everything is fine. No! Everything is not fine.
However, the few courageous ones that report, mostly regret ever taking that step. This is because, the society often neglect the case reported, and come up with statements that go as thus,
“Why did you dress like that? What were you doing there in the first place? You must have provoked or tempted him with your seductive APPEARANCE...”
And gradually, the focus shifts from the rape case and offender. The length of her skirts becomes the topic of interest. And the victim eventually becomes the accused. This is ridiculous!
Another factor for the silence is the failure by our law enforcement in performing thorough investigation, and ensuring that justice is being served.
In Nigeria, the government isn’t doing enough in addressing this acts of inhumane. This creates more rooms and freedoms for the perpetrators to exercise their mischievous deed.
Moreover, if at all the devil is apprehended, he somehow manages to get away. He walks freely, and soon returns to the land of the humans, seeking another prey to peck on. Are we safe at all?
An article published by Africa Anthropologist titled- Rape and Women Sexual Health in Nigeria, discovered that many health problems suffered by women in Nigeria are as a result of Rape.
There are grievous consequences that come with rape aside from societal labelling or stigmatization. These consequences are often overlooked.
These implications could range from sexually transmitted diseases, (such as HIV, HERPES, SYPHILIS). abortion (arising from unwanted pregnancy). And if not done safely, could lead to infertility and even death.
Depression is another implication. It can propagate suicidal thoughts or suicide itself. Defects in future relationship with the opposite gender, and many more.
Rape victims don’t talk due to the stigmatization attributed to being raped in the society. We, the society, need to encourage them to speak up. And we must refrain from labelling them as “damaged.”
Likewise, law enforcement needs to put more efforts in dropping these perpetrators behind bars. They are to be apprehended, locked up, and not found among humans.
Interestingly, research shows that women experience rape from people that are close to them. This means that if the law enforcement can be more devoted, the probability of apprehending the perpetrators and assigning appropriate justice is quite high.
Rape is a criminal offence. No rapist should go unpunished.
Nigerians, let’s not relent in our protest to bring justice against the rapist. If not now, then when?
Read more on UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO FORGIVE