The word “Rape” sparks up hate and stands as a kind of reminder for some women today. It is a forceful and unwanted sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Either of them could be victims. It can also be defined as an unlawful sexual intercourse which is non- consensual (not agreed upon), or when a person forces another person to have sex against his or her will. According to the US Department of Justice new definition of rape in 2012, rape is “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim”
Surprisingly, majority of rape victims are the female counterpart across the globe. According to research, 65% of women in African countries have all been victims of sexual abuse at one point in their life. Some, in the early stage of their life as kids, some as single adults, while others as mothers or wives. It not only affect them physically, it affects these women psychologically, emotionally, socially and otherwise, effects on the victims are longstanding.
An estimated survey of rape has recorded over 100,000 rape cases in Nigeria. Sadly, 55% victims are minors, who were raped by older men, men far more advanced in age. Shocking how these men are family members, relatives or family friends to the victims. In 2014 and 2015, the rate of children less than five years who were sexually molested multiplied. Just last year, 331 cases were recorded.
Reasons for rape hasn’t been ascertained. Facts has it that most women get lured into sex because of financial difficulties. Some believe it’s because of so much exposure of their body to seduce men. Others believe it’s because a woman presents herself in a wrong location and at a wrong time. This is all wrong, even an infant who is a rape victim obviously has no power of speech to ask for money nor the body to seduce. I believe that rapists have all sorts of excuses and justification for their acts. Another reason is lack of sex education. Some men don’t get to understand that “No” means “No”. Some others just lack self control.
There are cases of rape among the male counterparts also, only that it is about 10% and most men never open up about being rape victims. The default in discussions about sexual violence is to think of boys and men as perpetrators and women as victims. But that is an oversimplification that is built on a damaging stereotype about male invulnerability, and it obscures the truth: Boys can be victims, and boys can need help. We’ve just built a world that makes it hard for them to admit it — and for the rest of us to acknowledge it. If we want to raise boys differently, we must start believing that they are equally capable of feeling pain and doing violence.
Many countries take rape crime very seriously. It is regarded as first and second degree of crime depending on the vulnerability of the victim. Sentences for rape can range from one year to even life imprisonment, depending on the status of the country sentencing and victim’s age or circumstance surrounding the crime. In Nigeria, punishment for attempt of rape is 14 years imprisonment in section 242 and life imprisonment in section 243 for actually committing it, both in the Nigerian Law and Constitution.
Regardless of the efforts by the government to curb this crime; parents, teachers and guardians are advised to enlighten the young children better and build a better relationship with these children to know when something wrong happens or about to happen. Mindset needs to be changed. The society needs to stop blaming the girl child if she is the victim of rape. Also the government should take it upon themselves to see that rapists are punished. This will reduce the constant cases and suicides greatly.
It would be nice if girls learn the act of self defence and teach whoever makes an attempt to rape a good lesson.
If you have ever been raped or an attempt has been made to rape you, please report to the closest authority near you. If you are ashamed or have suicidal thoughts, there are organisations that can help you through this ordeal.
Some of them are;
UK 🇬🇧: NHS,
US 🇺🇸: Rainn,
Nigeria 🇳🇬: Mirabel Centre,