Rape, a social menace which is becoming rampant in our society today. It is described as an act of sexual intercourse with an individual without his or her consent, through force or the threat of force. In many purviews, every crime of rape has been spanned as sexual assault, which also entails acts that fall short of intercourse. Although, the legal definition of rape has changed substantially overtime since the late 20th century but whatever its origins, rape is a serious crime.
However, In many rape trials, the guilt or innocence of the accused is based on whether or not the victim consented to sexual intercourse so therefore the determination of this consent often can lead to distressing cross-examinations of rape victims in court and as a result of this many rape victims choose not to report the crime to the police or press charges against their assailants which has left the issue of rape both underreported and underprosecuted.
Africa has the highest prevalence rate of child sexual abuse.
As at 2004, 60 per cent of children involved in child trafficking from Africa to Europe were Nigerians and between 2012 and 2013, about 30 per cent of women in Nigeria experienced one form of domestic violence or another.
Findings from 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 approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that 24.8% of females’ ages 18 to 24 years experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18 of which 5.0% sought help, with only 3.5% receiving any services.
In recent times, the case of rape in Nigeria has become quite alarming and threatening and requires urgent intervention, it is no longer a solitude criminal act affecting just a few women in the society. .. With the rights, privacy, dignity and self-preservations of women being infringed upon by this social menace with little or no policy to protect the rights of this victims, this is a wakeup call to the government to proffer solutions to curb this issue, some of which include strategies such as:
• Public enlightenment which has shown to be a critical tool in changing behavior, attitude, beliefs and value system of people. Therefore, there should be intense public enlightenment and education at schools, social clubs, cultural group gatherings, churches, mosques and through the media, to first of all, demystify the myths about sexual assault.
• Creating programmes to empower and support women and girl thereby strengthening economic supports and leadership opportunities for girls.
• Supporting Victims or Survivors to Lessen Harms by providing victim-centered services, treatment for victims of rape and treatment for at-risk children and families to prevent problem behavior including sex offending.
• However, the government cannot handle the issue of rape prevention alone. Portfolios across all levels of government, including education, health, justice, and crime prevention, as well as the non-government sector and community stakeholders, each have a significant contribution to make.
In conclusion, it is my belief that the issue of rape can be prevented if we work out and follow preventive measures, but however, if we continue to emphasize masculinity and femininity and avoid the complexity of sexual relations and sexual violence, we will be left with little hope for primary prevention becoming a reality.
Retributions of the Accused
Yea wolves in sheep clothing’s
Cowards and as of beasts
Kiddy Fiddlers and peeping toms
Thou Vile creatures
How can we save ourselves from these beasts
Marauding in Human form
They smile but deceitful
They lure and seek to compromise
Who can save us!!
While we slept, they skim
While we walk the path, they lurk
While we are weak, they prey
Ponder on the tears
Untold pain and misery
Remorse and grief
It is to you but few minutes
It is of us a life time
Hear these words
From off the woods and forest,
Down in the valley and mountains
Thy days are numbered oh yea beast
For judgement cometh quick
Oh sons of belial
A day cometh, for you will be judged
Judged for your treachery
By Abraham John Onoja
3 June 2020