Rapists and molesters are on the rise. Innocent adolescents and children are targets of rape.

Fred Itua, Abuja

If you are a parent, you should be scared. If you are a young girl, be on the lookout. Rapists and molesters are on the rise. Innocent adolescents and children are targets of rape.

READ ALSO: Group decries victims’ silence in rape cases

Despite the fact that sex is now a cheap commodity, some men who cannot control their libido, are on the prowl, looking for who to defile sexually.

Investigations revealed that cases of rape especially among minors and teenagers are on the increase in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Although official statistics from the FCT Social Development Secretariat was not made available to Daily Sun at the time of filing this report, the director in charge of Gender Matters, Dr. Agnes Hart, however, said the secretariat is inundated with cases of domestic violence among minors and teenagers in the territory.

He described the recent development as beastly revealing that the secretariat receives an average of one case of domestic violence per day, stressing that the situation has reached an alarming state.

She also said the girl-child is no longer safe in the society as she is being molested and raped by immediate family members, teachers and clergymen:

“The recent cases of domestic violence in the territory is quite alarming and pathetic. There is no day the secretariat doesn’t receive a report on domestic violence mostly on rape or molestation. Our Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Team is inundated with such cases.

“To be honest with you, just today (Friday), we have handled four different cases of domestic violence. But the most disturbing aspect of this matter is that nowhere is safe for the girl child in our society.

“Our homes, churches, mosques and schools are no longer safe because most of the cases we handled are cases related to fathers raping their daughters, pastors raping little girls in their congregations and teachers raping their pupils and students. In fact, we are living in a beastly society.”

The FCT Administration set up Sexual Assault Center (SAC), in Karu General Hospital to handle cases of domestic violence. Such centres would be established in other public health institutions across the territory.

Hart identified the judicial system and ignorance on the part of family members as some of the challenges faced while handling cases of domestic violence: “Our judicial system is too slow in dispensing justice.

“There are rape cases that will drag as long as God knows. In most cases, both parties will be tired to follow up such cases in court and before the secretariat will know it, they will settle out of court.

“Not too long ago, a woman whose daughter was raped told me that they have settled out of court and the community imposed a fine on the man. Sadly, I discovered that the fine was a bag of garri, 10 liters of red oil and a bag of salt. Tell me, how will such person feel the gravity of the offence he has committed?”

Our correspondents also gathered across the territory, the prevalence of rape related cases is on the increase. Some residents of Nyanya, near Customary Court in Area D in Abuja, disclosed that rape has become a daily occurrence, describing it as sordid tale affecting every segments of the society.

They noted that no day passes without incident of rape related cases: “Out of 10 cases brought before the Customary Court for trial, six of them are rape cases, three are divorce, only one comes from petty crimes and other related matters.”

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One of the residents in the area, Mrs. Amaka Igwe, expressed sadness over what she described as aberration: “Rape is an ugly incident that traumatises its victims. My younger sister was raped, while on her way from school. We reported the case to the police, and nothing was done to bring the perpetrators to justice. The painful aspect of it, was that my sister was a virgin them.

“A few month later, after the incident, she started developing health complicated problem in her private part that eventually led to Visco Vagina Fistula, VVF. It took the grace of God before she survive it.”

It was gathered that since efforts were not in place by the government to create awareness in order to educate the victims of rape to speak out, the incident will continue to persist. It was also learnt that most of the victims do not want to disclose the secret with anybody for fear of stigmatisation.

Recently, a lady boarded a bike from Nyanya to Jikwoyi. The cyclist diverted to an unknown destination, alighted in the mid of his gang, raped, robbed and left her unconscious.

Audu, a resident of Karu, who witnessed the incident, disclosed that he was passing through that path to the Custom Quarters, when he heard somebody screaming for help: “It was a terrible experience. I took the lady to Nyanya General Hospital where she was treated. The case was reported to the police, but up till now, no feedback from them.”

A victim of rape, Rosemary, narrated how she was raped alongside her friend: “It is not easy to tell anybody the experience, the victims of rape passed through. I was raped with my friend on our way home from church in the evening.

“I told my mum about it, but she said that I should not let anybody know about it. I kept it to myself since then, and finds it difficult to let it go from my mind.

Government needs to create a platform for effective awareness to educate the victims to come out of this fear of stigmatization.”

However, many residents are of the opinion that victims of rape are the architects of their problem. “You see some of those ladies, they are not ashamed of dressing half nude. They dress like that to public, and our body system is being regulated by hormones in our system.

“Once somebody feels attractive to an indecent dressing, and he has no self control, there is no other choice than to do the needful. Let them dress responsible to avoid this incessant rape cases,” they argued.

A resident of Mpape who refused to volunteer her name narrates how her three-year-old daughter was raped by her uncle: “We were set to go out, on the road my baby complained of pains in her private part.

“She even wanted to remove her skirt but I stopped her telling her that we were on the road. That evening when we got back, as I was bathing her I decided to check for the pain she had early complained.

“Behold I saw that my daughter’s vagina has been tampered with. There was a large unusual hole. I asked my baby who did this to you. She mentioned the name of one uncle. I was shocked but didn’t say anything.

“Three days later, I asked my baby same question, she said Uncle. That was when I went to report to the vigilante group in the market where I sell goods. “They advised me not to say a word that I don’t have proof, warning me that if I report the incident it might backfire on me. I kept quiet but I told a neighbour of mine who also suggested I keep quiet that they will set trap for Uncle t.

“My daughter began to bleed. I ran to my aunt who advised that we should report the matter to the police, but it was late that day. The following day, I was preparing to go out, Uncle came and blocked me on the road.

“He said I was tarnishing his image within the neighbourhood. He began to beat me, he even threatened to deal with me that I have not seen anything yet. Passersby came to my rescue. I have reported the matter to the police.”

Dr. Linus Awuta, a gynecologist with Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State, described the incident as a pathetic experience: “We recorded a large number of rape cases in our hospital. The painful aspect of it was that most of the victims are teenagers who have brighter future ahead. After conducting test on them, we discovered that half or more are positive to various degrees of sexual transmitted diseases.” He appealed to relevant authorities to live up to their responsibilities to forestall this ugly incident.

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