Rape – An Anomaly Taken Too Far
For years, the media space has been awash with stories and countless stories of rape. Ear tingling stories of rape of adults and minors.
Despite government involvement, which unfortunately has not done much to tackle the root causes of this social vice, the menace has persistently taken a foothold in the society.
According to UNICEF, six out of 10 children in Nigeria experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse before age 18, with half experiencing physical violence.
More of this sexual abuse can be attributed to the decay of societal norms and values occasioned by moral decadence and dearth of moral values and a poor institutional frame work.
The word Rape stem from the middle English “rapen”, Anglo French word – ” raper”, and Latin “rapere” to mean seize, carry off by force, plunder. It has its documented origin as far back as 1250- 1300.
Dictionary.Com defined rape as an unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with or without force by a sex organ, other body part or foreign object without the consent of the victim.
Miriam Webster dictionary went a notch further to give an indepth understanding of it as an “Unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person’s will or with a person beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent, because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness or deception”.
Mark the key words, ” Unlawful”, “Threat”, ” Without Threat”, “Consent”, meaning that, the act itself, is not within the ambit of the law and the person MUST be able to give a valid, explainable consent.
Anne L. Barstow, a retired Professor of History and Editor of War’s Dirty Secret, in her book; Rape, Prostitution and Other Crimes Against Women, has this to say, ” Rape, act of sexual intercourse with an individual without his or her consent, through force or the threat of force. In many jurisdictions, the crime of rape has been subsumed under that of sexual assault, which also encompasses acts that fall short of intercourse. Rape was long considered to be caused by unbridled sexual desire, but it is now understood as a pathological assertion of power over a victim”.
She went further to state that, “the age at which an individual may give effective consent to sexual intercourse is commonly set in most countries at between 14 and 18 years. Sexual intercourse with a person below the age of consent is termed statutory rape, and consent is no longer relevant.
The term statutory rape specifically refers to the legal proscription against having sexual intercourse with a child or any other person presumed to lack comprehension of the physical and other consequences of the act.
The term statutory rape may also refer to any kind of sexual assault committed against a person above the age of consent by an individual in a position of authority, e.g., employers, teachers, clergy, doctors, and parents”.
There are different levels to the definition of rape, but I will be narrowing down within the Nigerian clime and constitution and spare the indepth definition, but whatever its origin and definition, it remains a serious crime.
Provocative dressing as a Reason For Rape
In recent times, the menace of rape has not only become vicious, but has generated alot of controversy.
While there are no justification for the violation of both male or female sexually, alot of people justify the act, claiming that provocation dressing is a reason for rape.
Others also go with the assertion that, being at a certain place, with companies of persons and not knowing techniques to resisit the predator has also contributed to being raped.
But I can strongly disagree to the above assertions as events and incidents have proved otherwise. For provocative dressing, minors get raped, boys get raped, people who even dress well get raped!
No matter the technique taught a minor on how to resist a pedophile, if they are stronger than them, they will be over powered.
Being in some companies of persons, whether strange or not, is still not an excuse, as evidences have proved that, a greater number of victims were raped by people who are relatives, who they are familiar with and whom they have reposed a high level of trust on.
Lack of Institutional Framework and Loopholes In The Constitution Is Still Not An Excuse
Age of consent is another bone of contention, some hold the belief is even a 13 year old girl is sexually aware and active, as such, can consent to sex. This is an appalling and despicable to say!
It is enough evil that instead of showing a girl of that age a pen or a vocation, the line she was allowed to tow is the penis. Let it be known that the family and society has failed such a child for failing to put up an institutional frame work.
In the line of my job, I was opportuned to visit a brothel during the covid break with a civil society group who were sent by a development partner to deliver relief materials. The experience left me bothered for days.
A young girl (name witheld), below the age of 18 was in attendance. Her attitude and mannerism, depicted a troubled child. She looked so withdrawn, afraid and vulnerable all through the session.
When it was time for her to write her name and fill out other details, she couldn’t even write her name and provide the details! Yet she was shown the way of the penis!
Age Of Consent Explained
Despite the controversial stance on the age of consent, the Nigeria Constitution is very clear on this. Nigeria Sexual Offences Bill Stipulates 17years as age of consent and not 11 years.
The Bill which was sponsored by the then Senator Chris Anyanwu which passed second reading in November 21,2013, states in section 7 of the bill that;
1.A person who commits an act which causes penetration with a child is guilty of an offense called defilement.
2.A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child age eleven years or less shall upon conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for life.
3 A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child between the age of twelve and fifteen years is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for life
4.A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child between the age of sixteen and eighteen years is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for life.
Going by the above bill, it also condemned child marriage.The fact that people are disbeying the law and getting away with it, including child marriage especially those below the age of consent, doesn’t all of a sudden make it right.The law is explicit on this
For Ogechi ( not real name), from a community in Owerri West, the harrowing experience of her father defiling her will remain indelible in her mind.
She was only 7years when her father started having carnal knowledge of her. The children were left under the care of their father, after their mother died in 2013.
The act was first exposed in 2016 but he did not stop. Her father was subsequently arrested in 2017 when civil society organization waded in. Currently, he is serving terms at the Owerri Prison, after subjecting his daughter to four years in hell!
A similar and a more recent incident of a father raping his daughter, was committed by a 44year old man, against his 15 year old daughter for years.
The man whose name was given as Chinomso Okonkwo did not stop at himself, he went as far as inviting his friends to take turns. He was arrested by operatives of Orji division and is currently facing charges.
Or is the unfortunate incident of the Junior secondary student of Ikenegbu Girls who was deceived by an ITC driver?
The 13year old girl recounted that, the man started pestering her when she was in JSS 1 (2017) and continued every other day whenever she was returning from school, and she declined his offer.
She confided in the police that the day she accepted the man’s request, was the day he drove her into a bush, tore her cloths and raped her, as she went home bleeding.
The suspect confessed that he had on two different occasions lured the 13 years old girl with N100 note into his vehicle, where he drove her to secluded areas, including areas around Akachi Tower, Owerri-Aba Road to molest her.
Boys Get Raped Too
Before rounding off this piece, I want to draw attention to a pertinent area that is under reported. Boys get raped too!
Over time, efforts have been geared towards the protection of the GirlChild. There is absolutely nothing wrong in that venture but protecting a particular sex and alienating the other, may not yield the desired result.
The society doesn’t get better with that. We are inadvertantly putting the GirlChild at risk, when attention is not given to the Boychild. Over protection leads to vulnerability.
If the society must get better, efforts must be made to build both sexes. Some of these boys go as far as getting sodomized!
Reading the sordid tales of some young men who narrated their experiences to a correspondent of Punch Newspaper, Tope Omogbolagun left nothing to be desired about the Hydra headed monster – Rape.
Some of them were abused by female househelps, others by familiar people their family trusted and left in their care.
What is more? The culture of silence and patriarchy makes it difficult for the male folk to open up!
These men who are grown now, some married, are still grappling to overcome the aftermath of years of abuse, which has became a part of them and hugely affecting their sexual life.
One Ugochi in his account said, he still gets easily triggered sexually and like others, feel more attracted to older woman.
He said,” I have some crazy sexual urge that I usually feel that maybe I was jazzed. Another effect this has on me is that, I get attracted to older women even I try not to mess up myself”.
Psychological Motivations Of A Rapist And The Possible Reaction Of The Victim
The psychological motivations of rapists are more complex than was formerly thought. They may include the desire to punish, to gain revenge, to cause pain, to prove sexual prowess and to control through fear.
The psychological reactions of victims of rape also vary but usually include feelings of shame, humiliation, confusion, fear, and rage. Victims often report a feeling of perpetual defilement, an inability to feel clean, an overwhelming sense of vulnerability, and a paralyzing feeling of lack of control over their lives.
For a Psychologist, Prof.Oni Fagboungbe, he holds the belief that, older women tend to develop feelings for younger men and because they are deprived when they can’t get anyone to satisfy them, some of them go as far as raping young boys.
“Once the dependent variable is available, they go into it. This is one of the side effects of having mature domestic staff and others. When they do not have access to sex, they begin to tutor the boys on how to go about it and engage them in all sorts of things to derive pleasure. Raping of boys happens”.
The psychologist said that rape could bring a traumatic experience which one could only recover from through help from counsellors or therapists.
He stated, “One thing about traumatic experience is that it has a way of manifesting later in adult days. It could lead to sexual prejudice; that is not easily excited especially when the victim experiences a lot of pain during the act. Such a person might hate sex or the opposite sex.
“On the other hand, it may lead to promiscuity, wanting to have sex all the time whenever they see the opposite sex. They sometimes become stingy not wanting to share anything with people or being hostile to people.
“The best way to bring such victims out of the trauma is to help them see a counsellor or a psychologist that can help them out of the trauma. The experience is usually stored in the unconscious part of the mind. There is a link between the three types of the mind: The conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind. Whatever is locked up in the unconscious mind has a way of finding its way into the subconscious and conscious mind”.
[03:17, 13/08/2020] Tochi Trumpeta: How Imo Man Was Beheaded By His Friend In Edo Over N13m Account Balance
A man has beheaded his colleague in Auchi, Edo state, after he confided in him that his elder brother living in South Africa had sent him some money to complete his building project in Nigeria.
Abuchi Wisdom Nwachukwu, native of Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo state, was allegedly murdered by Moses, his friend and colleague, after informing the latter that his elder brother had sent him the sum of N13 million.
The deceased was hacked to death by Moses a Mechanical engineer graduate of Auchi Polytecnic, on January 7, 2020, during a night shift at the table water company where they both worked.
After beheading him, he left Nwachukwu’s lifeless body in a bush close to the company.
After the alleged murder, the suspect took the deceased’s phone and ATM card to some internet fraudsters who helped him withdraw the sum of N2.2m from his account and subsequently, various POS points in the city to withdraw sums of money.
The deceased’s brother later petitioned the police and they were able to trace the POS transactions Moses did to Benin, Ore and Auchi and later arrested him in a hotel where he was hiding.
Upon interrogation, Moses led IRT operatives to arrest suspected internet fraudsters—Yusuf Sagiru, Tony Bright and Terence Okochukwu—as well as businessman Jahswill Ogbonnaya, who were said to have helped Moses to withdraw the sum of N6 million from the account.
The suspect in his confession claimed the victim’s ghost has been hunting him since the day he killed him.
He said: “I work in a table water company in Abely area of Auchi, and I have been working in that company in the last four years.
“When Nwachukwu got a job in the factory, I was the person who taught him how to operate the machine, so we became very close friends.
“While we were working, Nwachukwu told me about his brother who lives in South Africa and how he has been sending money to build his house for him.
“He showed me the alert for the N13 million his brother had just sent to him, saying that he would be travelling to his village to carry out the project. I felt jealous and I decided to steal the money.
“Since we were friends, I tricked him and collected his phone password. I went through it and found the PIN for his ATM card.
“Few days before the day he would be travelling, we worked on the same shift. I lured him outside the company, stabbed him with a knife and killed him.
“I dragged his body into the bush, and because I don’t want people to recognise him easily, I cut off his neck and buried it. Then I took his ATM card to some fraudsters. I gave it to one Yusuf and told him that I needed to hack the account.
“We withdrew N2.2 million from the account. I had trouble with Yusuf because he and the people he brought in wanted to cheat me.
“I killed him on January 8, 2020 and travelled to Ore and Benin City. I stayed in several hotels and was carrying different women, but Nwachukwu’s spirit started disturbing me.
“Whenever I want to sleep, the boy’s spirit will appear to me and will be crying. The girls that were with me would run away, saying that I want to use them for money ritual.”
[03:19, 13/08/2020] Tochi Trumpeta: Beware of Artisans Who Install Household Equipments
Imolites are warned to be wary of artisans they invite into their homes for installations of household materials as some of them are robbers in disguise.
Suspected robbers were apprehended by the Amaigbo Security Watch in Nwangele LGA of Imo state, over the weekend, after coming back to steal materials they installed earlier.
Two suspects it was gathered from a viral video, hail from Amaigbo while the other third one is a native of a community in Arondizuogu.
Following a tip off, they were given a hot chase by the community vigilante who overpowered them and their stolen items in their vehicle.
But for the timely intervention of some stakeholders of the community, the suspects would have been set ablaze by the already angry and charged youths.
The suspects whose names could not be ascertained at press time, have been handed over to the police for further investigations.