By PRINCESS CHIAMAKA NWANKWOALA
‘Mum, that’s it. I didn’t know what to do, I was helpless, my breath were almost gone when he forcefully penetrated, my heart bled in pain. Everything made it look like I was dancing with the devil’
‘You expect me to believe you swanta, so you think I am daft right? You were raped and there are no blood all over you, you were not even carried back by a car or ……..
’ ‘Mother I am surprise you talk like this same reason why rape victims keep it to themselves and suffer the pain and depression alone’
‘Why didn’t you keep it to yourself swanta?
This is my 47th year on earth and I have seen things, I am not a baby.. you can’t just tell me a fairy tale and expect me to believe.
‘What if I died? What if mother?’
‘Will you leave my presence and go do what I asked you to do…
imagine, you were raped and your head wasn’t broken, your eyes are intact you were not beaten and yet you want me to believe me………
“A situation that is now seen as ‘ordinary’ and given less attention to, the girl child cries and many understand the pain in her tears. Where do we go from here?” Sexual assault is a vice that needs to be tackled seriously, it can take many different forms but one thing is for sure “it is never the victims fault” A spokes person for a health organization was been questioned on some issues concerning rape,.. I got so interested in the discussion that I quickly sat down and increased the volume. The camera focused on him, his words collided with his emotions which made his confused state become visible and finally he said “THERE IS NOTHING UNSAID THAT HASN’T BEEN SAID”,…. Funny? Of course it was to me , I mean; if we have nothing to say about this then it has now become a slap on our faces, not been able to protect the girl child and other rape victim.
Rape and sexual assault are among the most injurious crimes a person can inflict on another. Understanding the frequency and contest for which rape and sexual assault are committed is vital for finding a solution and help identify intervention that will reduce the risk of future attack; Sadly, accurate information about the extent of sexual assault and rape is difficult to obtain because most of these crimes go unreported to the police, of course one would want to know how the police has helped in tackling the already reported cases.
WHO ARE THE PERPETRATORS?
Are the perpetrators punished by the law or are they been hidden for money sake? Are they strangers or someone known to the victim? Approximately eight out of ten sexual assault are committed by someone known to the victim.
Statistics has shown that in a total of hundred cases, just eleven victims would be assaulted by a stranger while the remaining eighty-nine cases will be friends, acquaintances or relatives well known by the victims. Obtaining an accurate measurement of rape and other sexual assaults is a challenge , determining the scope and nature of rape and other type of sexual assault depends on how these crimes are defined measured.
According to statistics, Africa has the highest prevalence rate of sexual abuse around 34.4%. 30% of women go through one form of sexual violence or the other, what’s more over 40% of all rapes are committed against children. It has been found that rape is a tragedy of youths with majority of the cases occurring during childhood and adolescence
HOW CAN THIS BE TACKLED?
A study of non incarcerated sex offenders conducted by Dr.Gene Abel and his colleagues found that 126 men admitted that they had raped. This rapist had committed a total of 907 rapes involving 882 different victims. The average number of different victims per rapist was seven, ‘This is a country where we have daughters, wives,sisters,aunties,mothers, but yet not enough is done to protect the females. The effect are devastating extending beyond initial victimization to consequences such as unwanted pregnancy, sexual transmitted infections, sleep and eating disorder and other emotional and physical issues.
I find it discouraging that out of every hundred persons, 60 of them believe that sexual assault must come with brutality and physical injuries. Why has our level of ignorance gone so deep that ‘the black outfit becomes the color of our nationality, yet we do not know, issues left us demanding. Rape victims are been hidden under the plight of fear due to the level of social stigmatization and intimidation, the fact that justice can’t be gotten makes it more difficult to be aired out.
Sex violence wasn’t as viral as it is now, in fact I know more about what television news use to be than what it is now [should there be an excuse for sexual assault?] I read a piece about a rapist blaming the women for their style of dressing which exposes the body and make most male folks stumble while standing but yet falling ‘could this be the reason rape increased?’ what will be said about the cases of little children who go through the same torture and assault or do they have beautiful things to expose? ‘we should understand that rape is a form of sexual assault but not all sexual assault is rape.
Findings from a national survey carried out in 2014 on violence against children in NIGERIA confirmed one in four females reported experiencing sexual violence in childhood with approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study it was found that 24.8% of females ages 18-24 years experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18 of which 50% sought help with only 3.5% receiving attention and treatment.
‘Forcible rape was defined in 1927 as the carnal knowledge of a person forcibly and against their will’; This was changed in 2012 in a victory for rape survivals, hereby announcing a newly revised definition of rape ensuring that it will be more accurately reported nation wide.
It reads: ‘The penetration no matter how slight of the vagina or anus with anybody part or object or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person without the consent of the victim’.
This definition includes instances in which the victim is unable to give consent because of temporal or permanent mental or physical incapacity such as one who is unconscious, has a disability or is below legal age of consent .
How has rape become an option when it is never to be an option, worldwide, sexual violence including rape is primarily committed by male Against female, rape by strangers is less as most rapes are done by people well known to the victims. Same sex rape is usually common but people keep shut due to criticism and lack of understanding. The rate of reporting, prosecution and conviction varies between jurisdiction but nevertheless, reporting of rape is what has to be done immediately after an assault. Male victims are usually hesitant to report their cases due to the stigma and criticism surrounding it.
Presently, people see no reason reporting a rape case neither do they find it necessary going for treatments. Survivals who neglect reporting their cases are still eligible to receive a sexual assault which is meant to be avoided.
A situation whereby victims do not know the agency to report to nor where to seek professional help from makes things more difficult, more reason why non-governmental organization that enlighten people on rape should be encouraged. Support groups provide individuals with opportunities to connect with other survivors and serve as a constant reminder that they are not alone. But sadly, this support groups aren’t been heard of or as popular as they ought to be. 70% of rape survivors were not exposed to any group neither were they taken for treatments.
The fear and trauma a rape victim goes through is more than enough to make her see no reason to live. Depression, self blame, anxiety, and suicidal thought are the next phase to be dealt with after a rape scandal but who will the rape victim trust to assist pass this phase. Rather than assist rape victims most people tend to criticize, stigmatize and laugh at them condemning them to their plight. We should know that it was never the victims fault no matter how it happened and at such victims should be encouraged by everyone around them for a better and happy future. The process of recovering from rape differentiates among survivors for their own individual reason, nature of attack, how they choose to cope with their trauma and social influence are few of many variables that impact the healing process. Even so, recovery generally consist of three main things; Reaching out, Re-framing the rape victim and redefining one self. Professional treatments may be needed to help assist with properly accomplishing these factors, cognitive process therapy have been found result in a decrease or remission of post-trauma symptoms in survivors and help them regain a sense of control.
Everybody is a suspect so far the rape victim is concerned, the rapist make the victim very insecure and get scared of the unknown in today society and it has become alarming.
The culture of then is different from now as most parents contribute to the menace in our society today. We all look up to the government, hereby putting all blames on them but forget to know that everyone has a role to play. We live in a society where schools aren’t as safe as it used to be neither are teachers meant to be given the full trust as most teachers contribute negatively to the growth and development of children.
A little girl confided in me ,saying that her teacher always asked her to show her pant to him, sometimes asking her to go down while he stares into her;, further findings she gave to me showed that there was no communication between her and her parents which made it hard for her to tell them. Parents need to understand that the moment their child develops fear towards them then they have lost and failed as parents. If a child has no confidence to talk to his parents then who else should he talk to?
99.9% of parents do not have time to talk to there children which is wrong in this time full of insecurity. Teachers shouldn’t be left alone to handle the child’s whole duty, most things remain undisclosed to the child except the parents take responsibility to teach them too.
Most mothers keep the rape of their girl child a secret just because it was done by the man of the house… Excuse me ma’m you are keeping the rape of your child a secret just because it was done by the man of the house? A rapist who gave your daughter an early trauma is been kept just because he is your husband?
The level of negligence in our society is alarming and surprising but I am not surprised; I mean aren’t we the same people keeping quiet about it? Are children who live in the street been considered or their constant exposure to sexual assault .
THE ACT IS UNBEARABLE
Yes a law against all rape offenders has been established but will this reduce the act knowing fully well that 50% of rapists paid there way to freedom and were hidden under the supposed arm working for the government.
ARE WE THE CAUSE OF OUR PROBLEM?
Suppose for example these rapists are giving a chance to speak can we be told why they indulge in the act? Should there be an excuse for it?<br>The word discipline can no longer be inculcated in us, hearts bleed daily for fear of the unknown.
WHAT WILL THE GIRL CHILD DO?
In Richards Wright “Native son”, Bigger Thomas wasn’t far from this as he was seen as a major rape offender, yes it could be supported that it was not on purpose but it still doesn’t give room for such irresponsible act.
Roads left abandoned yet hungers for tire, we keep blaming without thinking it isn’t no more hidden but has now become a thing of pride and a way to bully the victim. People take the African culture as a point to harass the females with the theory of them being weak and subject to the male folks. Every theory should be faulted especially the ones with no positive impact on the females.
The country itself rapes it citizens daily and yet nothing is been done about it so how then can the issue at hand be solved.
I listened to the words of “Vector” on rape which he titled “Rape Voem” an issue so hard to tackle. Voices heard remains unheard and bitter tears become sweet… like the victims of rape should only sit still which has now become a pattern, and I know you know that repetition is the beginning of pattern.
And all those up there who tell the people to look up to the sun while on earth aren’t ever the perfect judge. A pastor having a side chic in choir “RAPE IN THE CHURCH” People don’t know man can’t be a god talk more of being God.
The rape seen was done before the forceful penetration, it happened when you betrayed the thrust in you to lead rightly.
WHO DO WE BLAME!!!