It's been in our faces, it's been around us, and it's not over yet. I am tired of explaining consent to people. When a woman says no, it means no. No isn't yes, and it's time we understood that. Anything contrary to this is rape. Every day across the world, case rape is reported. The rate at which episodes of rape occur in our society today is becoming not only alarming but awful. Statistics have it that in Lagos alone, 678 cases of rape were reported in 2012, which is an average of two cases per day (Musbau, 2013, p. 53).
John Burn-Murdoch stated: Between 2009/10 and 2011/12 there were an estimated 78,000 victims of rape per year in England and Wales - 69,000 females and 9,000 males. The figures were published jointly in a statistical bulleting by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, and the Office for National Statistics.
The U.N children's fund reports that one in four boys and one in 10 girls under age 18 are victims of sexual violence every day. Health experts say more children and young women are coming forward to talk about the problem as the stigma attached to discussing it slowly subsides.
Africa has the highest prevalence rate of child sexual abuse around 34.4 per cent. A considerable number of 100 cases of rape were equally recorded in Kano courts in 2013 alone out of which only 40 delinquents were convicted. Today, that number has skyrocketed.
In Nigeria, over the years, there has been an increase in the number of rape presented cases. Warifng reports states that 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 roughly 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that 24.8% of females aged 18 to 24 years experienced sexual abuse before age 18 of which 5.0% sought help, with only 3.5% receiving any services.
The preponderance of rape and its widespread exemption, whether committed during armed conflict or peacetime, is condemned by the UN, and its ban has been consistently recognized, in international law. Removing rape entirely in our world is the most challenging situation we face today. That notwithstanding, the UN defines rape as a situation whereby a person is forced to engage in a sexual encounter whether in an armed conflict or peacetime against their will.
They reiterate that when a person says NO to any sexual inclination, be it mildly or loudly, should be respected. Going contrary to that is considered sexual violence or rape.
Rape and sexual assault are among the most detrimental crimes a person can impose on another. The effects are overwhelming, broadening beyond the initial victimization to other effects such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, sleep and eating disorders, and other emotional and physical difficulties.
Understanding the commonness and context under which rape and sexual assault are committed is crucial in directing resources for law enforcement and support for victims
According to the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey: 2008-2012, 68 per cent of sexual assaults are never reported to the police. This places rape as a factor that catalysts the feeling of shame among victims of such incidents.
In many cases, women simply wait too long to report, at which point the statute of constraints for the crime runs out. Many Nigerians and girls around the world see violence as a normal part of daily life, especially in the borders of the family and local communities. This behaviour is strengthening a code of silence that must break if women and girls are to live free of fear and attack.
Although the Nigerian federal government has made a start by enacting a new law outlawing domestic violence there are few signs that new statutes are having much effect outside the capital or across the world.
Rape felons in Nigeria are having a field day because the burden of proof lies only with the victims. The victim is the one that must bring the bed sheet used to rape her. She needs to provide her pant and not wash before going to the police station and the hospital, even when it is sure that there would be a delay in getting and presenting the report of medical tests because of the nature of our health facilities.
These delinquents must be stopped. A man that rapes a woman is worst than a beast, and having a beast in our community puts every life at risk.
The rape victims are not strangers. They are one of us. We need to change the way we see ourselves, to change the way we see the world we live in. We need you to help fill the gap.
Every one of us equal access to quality, independent, trustworthy representation from our justice department t. So, we've decided to make a difference. We are raising our voices loudly and speaking against rape in our land.
We are seeking justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, Tina, Jenniffer, Barakat Bello, Farishina, and so much more.
Enough is Enough!
Image Credit: SABC Image
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