The Federal Government has congratulated Mo Abudu, Chimamanda Adichie and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, on the honours recently bestowed on them on the global stage. He called them great ambassadors of Nigeria. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the three honourees are iconic women in the Creative Industry, who have brought great honour, not…
My Government teacher at JAMB class took special interest in me because I performed excellently in his subject. Often times after class, he would call me to encourage me about my studies. I wasn’t suspicious because our Literature teacher back then was a man and he also took special interest in my academic work. This teacher was a lot older than I was while I was freshly out of secondary school. I was young, naïve and awkward. One day he promised to get me past question papers and each time he came to the JAMB class, he told me he forgot them at home.
One afternoon, after I had asked for the past questions papers, he told me to come over to his house to get them and I followed him. I did, because aside the fact that he was a teacher at the JAMB class he is also a known uncle in the neighbourhood.
On getting to his house, I stood outside and expected him to go in and hand over the past questions to me but he didn’t. He told me to come inside, I was a little skeptical but I looked around and I went inside. I stood by the door but he urged me on to come and have a seat but I only took few steps away from the door. Then he went outside, came back with a drink, which he offered me but I declined and while he did this he pushed me and locked the door.
Then I began to scream and he became jittery. I could see the fear in his eyes, so I played upon that and started screaming louder. He tried telling me he meant no harm but I just didn’t understand why he pushed me and locked the door. I didn’t listen to him because I knew that was a red flag and I kept screaming, until he went to the door and opened it.
This didn’t happen in a movie scene, this was a near rape experience that happened to me as a teenager and till date whenever I remember, I still shiver with fear.
Once, I got talking with a very close friend of mine and she told me that she still has some horrible flashes of her childhood that still haunts her till today. She said she was about 4 years old then and could remember that a trusted uncle, who was a family friend, would take her to a secluded area and tell her to play with his penis and sometimes forced her to put it in her mouth. My friend didn’t understand all these until she became an adult.
There is another story of a girl who was raped as a teenager in a church and she told no one about it until her mother found out she was three months pregnant. Her parents were staunch Catholic and didn’t want to do abortion and she was forced to have the child. Today, she hates that child with a passion. Another woman who was sexually abused as a child by different men hates men to the extent that she doesn’t even want to have anything to do with men. Now, she is a lesbian because of the abuse.
For over two weeks now, I have been reading stories of rape victims and at a point I had to stop because they were all so frightening and emotionally disturbing. Many of these stories detailed the abuse that these victims suffer and how they have been trying to deal with it.
There have been heart wrenching stories of gang rapes, date rapes, child rapes, spousal rapes and serial rapes but the most annoying thing is that only 10% of these cases have been reported to the police and 98% of the offenders will never go to jail for their crimes. If you take a look around, 2 out of 5 girls have been raped or had near rape experiences. Moreover, more than half of these cases happen to young girls before they clocked 18years.
Besides, I think the reason many rapists get away with this crime is because of the rape culture. In a country where some of our cultural beliefs, media images and social practices support and condone sexual aggression this happens. A woman is raped and the next thing people say is, “What was she wearing?” “Didn’t she walk to his house”?
Yes, I understand a woman who is half clad can get a man aroused but that doesn’t give any man a license to rape her. Even if she chooses to walk nude, it’s no one’s business. I am an advocate of decent dressing but I am just tired of people using indecent dressing as an excuse to rape. Do you steal a new iphone that doesn’t belong to you because you are tempted? No! So, please stop telling me reasons women are raped is because they are not well dressed. Even in India where their women cover up, the country has the highest number of rapists around. For these sick people, their cognitive reasoning is distorted by thinking errors. That is why a low life pedophile will foolishly say that a 5-year-old girl seduced him. More so, rape is seen as a warped sense of conquest, a way of demonstrating masculinity and also motivated by anger and lack of self-control.
It saddens me that we have trivialized and eroticized male violence against women and blamed victims for their abuse over the years. Some of our musicians sing about sexual violence and we stupidly dance to it. There are television shows and jokes that either promote raping someone or make rape seem like every day thing that must happen.
Moreover, the police are not helping matters too. When cases are reported, some of these policemen blame and condemn the victims. They ask about what she was wearing, whether she was drunk and even tell her she is matured and so she must have asked for it. For instance, how many rape cases have been charged to court? How many rapists are locked up in the prison for their crime? How much does a rape victim’s dignity worth?
A lady shared her story on social media of how she was raped as a child and when her dad took the matter to the police station, people came around to beg her dad to drop the case. When he refused he was threatened and he eventually had to drop the case because of threats of powerful people. Honestly, our begging culture has to stop! After traumatizing a child/rape victim because of the pleasure principle you now went ahead with your relatives to beg. Beg for what? And what kind of relatives go to beg for someone without a conscience? This is one of the reasons rape and child molestation are thriving in our society, because the rapist knows he has a big uncle with connection who will get him out of his messy trouble. He knows that after he must have shed few crocodile tears and called the name of the Lord he would be forgiven. Some even call pastors, imams and traditional rulers to go help them beg when their erection gets them into trouble. And I say shame on you all! Even the holy books say that, you reap what you sow. Why don’t we let these people know that there are consequences for their bad conducts?
Do we even have a sex offender list in Nigeria? Do our police officers know where they live? I am asking these questions because the probability of a sex offender committing the crime again is very high. Rapists do not change! It’s like an addiction and they get a thrill from this perversion.
Unfortunately, we don’t and they are all living amongst us here like every sane person. They are even teachers in our daughter’s school, they are our husbands, uncles, nephews, cousins, and they carry our little daughters sometimes when we have to hurry to somewhere.
Honestly, I don’t see any logic behind a rape when there are prostitutes around. I really don’t understand how or why a sane man will rape a woman or a child because of a sexual urge.
A man who is being controlled by his erection and who would stop at nothing to get his sexual appetite satiated deserves to be locked in with wild animals.
If we are going to rise above the rape culture, then we need to start speaking out. Mothers shouldn’t tell their daughters to keep quiet when they are raped; they should take them to the police station and bear whatever humiliations they face. Mothers, it’s not all the time you flog your daughters, be friends with them so they can communicate with your freely. Also, I strongly opine that if you have a little child, please watch her closely and trust no one with her. Yes, it has come to this. There are pedophiles around us and our legal system has no records of them, so we need to be on our toes.
I would like to emphasize that rapists are not just strangers; sexual aggression can also take place between people who are acquaintances, friends and couples. So, men and women need to communicate clearly what is okay and what’s not because many rapists are often people we share part of our lives with.