Akì í bò sínù omi tán máa sá fun òtútù”
“One does enter into water, and run from cold”
— Yoruba proverb
Rape cases have escalated over the past few years, not only women and children are raped these days, even men too. Issues of men violating minors, women violating boys, gang rape, rape and miam, rape and torture, rape and murder and other rape and other rape related cases are spreading like wildfire. According to research, South Africa had the highest rape cases in the world last year, where 32.4 people in every hundred had been raped, this is quite sad because rape has come to live with us.
In Nigeria however, there is no definite statistic on rape cases. This is because more than 60% of people who were raped, don’t tell anyone. This is due to many reasons ranging from people blaming the victim, to the lackadaisical attitude of the law enforcement agencies, to the bogus laws against rape amongst others. Which are the reasons why rape continues unabated, ruining the lives of many and ruining the sanctity and beauty of sex. Some of these cases are outrageous such as a 44 year man from Akwa Ibom who defiled and raped his daughter incessantly, or the case of a man who raped his 10 year old daughter for 18 months in Lagos (culled from punchng.com)
These type of cases begs the question “Why?”, why do people rape? If survey was taken and this question was the key question, many people will have different answers and views on the issue. Some will crucify women for dressing indecently, some will kill the men who can’t control their sexual urge, others will blame singers for emphasizing sex in their songs, others will share views and ideologies like rape is not a crime or some women enjoy rape. To be honest, though some women need to dress more neatly after all a saying goes “Dress as you want to be addressed”, control should be the watchword. Afterall, alhajas and women who are referred to as “SU” are also raped, even young boys too, can they be accused of dressing indecently? Every person should possess some degree of self-control. Even if the media pumps sex into the air, learn self-control, controlling your mind and your body is the only way rape can be reduced.
For victims or potential victims, don’t put yourself in compromising positions, asides cases of incest forms of rape, some rape cases can be avoided. For example, don’t be alone in a room or dark places with someone who you are not dating or you don’t want to have sex with, don’t leave your kids with so-called uncles or aunties, don’t leave your drinks open at parties, do not go out with someone who you don’t really know, don’t go to a guy’s/ girl’s house if you don’t have feelings for him/ her. The best way to prevent the increase in cases in Nigeria, is being proactive, remember the saying that says “prevention is better than cure”.
Every hand must be on deck to eradicate the crime of rape in Nigeria. Now, People should stop treating rape victims with scorn as if being raped is their fault. Anybody and I repeat anyone can be raped. Instead lets us treat them with empathy and compassion, help them through the trauma, and help them find their feet in the society. Rape counseling and help centers should be open in each state in Nigeria and at every corner especially ghettos and villages, so far there is only one rape center in Nigeria which is Mirabel center in Lagos university teaching hospital (LUTH) idi Araba. More like this should be opened by both private and public corporations.
Non consexual advances made towards minors by any one be it friend or foe, father or mother should be reported. And most importantly, knowledge is power, people should be informed through adverts, through personal interactions, seminar and rallies what really rape is and that stigmatization should stopped. Police and other relevant agencies should enforce reformed laws on rape effectively, using rape as a means of torture should be stopped, it’s inhumane. Truth be told, all of this won’t amount to anything if the power of self-control is not employed, no matter how provocatively a woman’s dress or how high sexual urge is, don’t rape or sexually harassed anyone. Remember that only beasts don’t have self-control and these beasts will have a special place in hell. This has been #insideLife with Eddie Levi