By Eustace Dunn
While the senators are busy deliberating on legalizing who takes a piece of the waist of a ten year old girl, the mature young guys are not hesitating to take it forcefully. This has become another form of wickedness to nature by our agile and promising young Nigerians who have turned rape into Olympic Games where they singly or in group, take turns in taking the carnal knowledge of young girls. This is punishable as provided in the criminal code act CAP 77’ under chapter 21 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. However, my question is whether people ever think of what Section 357 of the Act provides as regards the meanings and punishments for rape and rapists. Taking a carnal knowledge of not just an underage but anyone is an offence against morality and the order of nature.
When we say ‘rape’, what readily comes to mind is taking an advantage of the feminine gender. It is not only the girls, little boys are also defiled. This could also be connotatively tagged as rape. But even at that, it is usually associated with the feminine genders. I once brought up a question on one of the linkedIn groups I joined, asking what the end results of a rape victim could be. A friend responded that her fear is that her only son may become an offender of the act since he was defiled at age five. How do we tell these little children who are victims not to get angry and then be compassionate with every man or woman that they come across?
This is a crime whose victims have chosen to remain silent and anonymous because of the stigma attached to it. It is not only their silence that annoys me, but the under-reportage of such incident. It is the least reported crime even though it is what I call the most grievous crime against mankind. Sometimes, the victim becomes the accused. Thereafter, she must have to “prove her good reputation, her mental soundness and her impeccable propriety” according to Freda Adler.
Rape has no doubt become a custom in most parts of the world and a sure means of suppressing women, young or old. Every day we see in the news how for instance, a forty-five year old man raped an eight year old little girl and taken to court, yet, this menace continues indefinitely to romance the very existence of our daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, and by extension some day, grandmothers. Even when all these happen, we overlook them and say we leave everything to God.
Even though the government has vowed to be lackadaisical about bringing the perpetrators to book, should the victims remain silent? Some even go as far as not letting their parents know. They choose a friend to confide in. Children who are raped may not be able to divulge anything probably because they don’t know what to say safe for when their mothers find out in her own ways. One would want to know what is behind the silence of the older raped victims who should have been able to voice out. From what I understand, they refuse to let it out for fear of societal marginalization and stigmatization. They keep dying in silence; they keep hating any man that comes their way and later become emotionally brutal. They go wild in their notions about men; they wouldn’t believe anything good one says about men. The last wish of a rape victim is to be addressed as such. But then, even when one is a victim, how could one’s morale be changed from being seen as victim and chirp bowl to becoming a survivor of such impression and circumstance?
Every raped victim’s dream job after death is to be a torturer in hell even though he/she deserved going to heaven. Why? They want to be given an opportunity to torture for eternity, those people that tormented other people here on earth, nay, those that raped, defiled and left an indelible stigma in them.
Continuous rape in our society is an indication that there can never be peace and freedom not to talk of justice for the girl child especially. There are cases where fathers rape their daughters; uncles rape their nieces, cousins to cousins and all of that. They are always raped at various places not excluding graveyards, uncompleted buildings, bush paths, cars, name it!
Talk of the impulsive merciless and shameless ABSU rape which was videoed and uploaded on the internet, talk of the corps member who was in her twenties serving in Durumi Secondary school Kurna in Kano that was also gang-raped two weeks later by four youths between the ages of 17 and 20, and another two week gang-raping of a 15year old teenager by five hefty young men at Akesan, a suburb of Lagos. There have also been some more recent cases where Ifeanyi Iwuji was arrested in Lagos for a serial sexual harassment of his neighbour’s daughter and then another in Oyo State where an eighteen year old was also remanded for rape.
The case of a corps member who through a letter to NYSC, made public how she was raped by Oba Bukola Ali, the Alowa of Ilowa in Obokun Local Government area of Osun State, should be a relief and stepping stone to all those who have been keeping their ordeals from being known. Who says no one would marry you if it becomes public that you were raped and were able to identify who did? Your silence will proliferate the impunity of rapists.
Come what may, if you still view yourself as a rape victim, the idea of this piece is to help you rescue yourself from the role of a victim. You still have a choice left. Of course you can’t change what has happened, but you can choose how to react to what has happened. You do not have to spend the rest of your life being bitter and locked up in a pain of the past.
It is crystal clear that these same rapists would get up tomorrow to say that the system is bad and there is no employment and development. How can the country be developed when the youths are still the oscillating pendulum swinging in the shackles of barbarism, getting ready to devour those who are trying to make their own ends meet? I don’t believe that the beautiful ones are not yet born. I believe that there are people who can turn these dangers of the society around to positive steps. I just wish these rapists can remember that those they rape are our future wives and would be mothers of senators and presidents alike. Who knows, it could turn out to be our mothers that they begin to rape. I really fear for us. I fear for our wives. I fear for our children.