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Increasing Rape Cases: Nigeria At The Centre Of Different Types Of Sexual Assaults

Why are men in their seventies raping three months old babies? Or teenage boys having forceful carnal knowledge of women in their seventies? And fathers raping their own daughters for years before been caught?

Hardly does one check the Newspapers without at least five cases of rape been reported and not only rape but sexual assaults, molestation, pedophilia and incest. This year 2020 alone, the Police stated that there have been 717 reported cases of rape in a five months period.

Studies show that at least four out of every ten females have experienced one form of sexual assaults or the other. Most of these victims were assaulted, raped or molested by family members or friends. As the authorities, civil groups and law enforcement agents continue to grapple with this menace of increasing sexual offenses against female babies, underage girls and even aged women, there is the need to probe some of the underlying reasons for these increasing cases.

Why are men in their seventies raping three months old babies? Or teenage boys having forceful carnal knowledge of women in their seventies? And fathers raping their own daughters for years before been caught? Expectedly, there is no shortage of answers to the posers above, rather what is lacking is a consensus as to a single reason for this malaise.

Fear of stigmatization of victims

Blaming of victims by the authorities and the society

Ignorance of the victims

These are some of the reasons some advocates adduced for the increase in the incidence of rape in the country. Other reasons include weak police institutions, and the culture of silence in families whose members perpetrated this evil act. The society is seen here to be complacent in this rape scourge because most often than not, the victims instead of getting help and supports are blamed for either indecent dressing, walking late night or been alone in a room with a man.

These societal attitudes have given a tacit approval to sexual molestation and indeed rape when the perpetrators are not apprehended by the authorities nor blamed by the society. There are reported cases of a victim of rape going to the Police station to report and such victims been shamed by the policemen and women on duty.

How can a victim reporting a case of rape be asked such questions like ‘did you enjoy it?’. Or such degrading request to examine genitals of the victims right at the counter by male police officers? These unprofessional attitudes of the police force remain a major reason why some of the rape victims do not bother to report to the authorities thereby continuing to suffer in silence.

 

OJOKOLO GBOLABO (Political/Social Commentator)

ojokologbolabo@gmail.com

 

Types of Sexual Assaults

Sexual assaults are categorized using various parameters and this include; consanguinity, age difference between the victim and the assaulter and relationship between the assaulted and the assaulter. This means sexual assault can either be called rape, pedophilia, molestation, statutory and marital rape. Rape is sex without the express consent of the other person due to one reason or the other. When a man takes advantage of a drunk woman who is not in a position to resist nor consent then such a man is deemed to have raped the women. Because both are adults such a sexual assault is rape. Sexual act on children who are unaware of what is happening is rape. Having sex with a girl who was drugged is also rape and forceful sex with a spouse is rape as. Furthermore, having sex with an underage girl though with her consent is rape under the law.

Pedophilia is the sexual attraction of children or minors to adults. And a person who commits this sexual misdemeanor is called a pedophile. Sexual assaults against children and infants is one the increase in Nigeria. The crime section of dailies is not complete with mention of one 50,60- or 70-years old man caught or accused or defiling a baby girl left in his care. This sort of rape often results in the death of the minor. Medical experts say pedophilia is a mental condition and such people need help. I agree with the experts. But what are the signs that an old man who you have known all your life or maybe your own father can sexually abuse his own grandchild? Unfortunately, it is often too late as the knowledge only comes after the did has been done. Uncles, family friends, spiritual leaders in places of worship, guardians and even teachers have been known to sexually abused, molested and rape minors in their care.

Incest is the rape of children by their father. Nigeria is witnessing an increase in this taboo and not just a one-off mistake of a father sleeping with his daughter but serial rape of more than one daughter in some cases. This carnal relations between fathers and daughters sometimes happen right under the nose of the mothers of the girls and at other times due to the absence of their mothers. No matter the scenario, a father should not be having sex with his daughters as it is against natural laws and scientific prescriptions. Incestuous relations are known to result in many strange diseases some of which have wiped out families who engage in incest. Children conceived from such intercourse are products of inbreeding that exacerbate the defective genes in families and such often result in the eventual extinction of such families.

Sexual molestation simple put is the unconsented touching or groping of another person for the sexual pleasure of the people doing the touching. More often than not the genitals are fondled or penetrated with other objects but the sexual organ of the molester. This occurs when adult males in the guise of playing with girls or ladies grope them. Because of the innocuous nature of these actions, the girls might be ignorant and unaware of what is going on.

A teenager or a man in his early twenties who rapes an old woman is like the direct opposite to the pedophile man. But with the high rate of advanced fee fraud called ‘Yahoo’ ‘Yahoo’ or ‘Yahoo plus ‘some have alleged that these desperate fraudsters or would be fraudsters are engaging in these dastardly acts for spiritual purposes. Some occultists have advised fraudsters that raping old women would increase their fortunes and power to swindle people because the victims of their fraud would be under a spell.

But teenage or friends’ rape is different from the foregoing and the likely causes are different too. Most boys and young men have an unrestrained access to pornographic sites and sexually explicit materials online. When boys and men feed their brains with these erotic contents there is that high likelihood that they would want to experiment and experience what they have saturated their brains and minds with.

In the absence of willing participants and under the influence of an imagination on fire, some of these males’ resort to the use of force to satisfy their uncontrollable sexual urge. Not only are these men consuming too much porn, they are been brainwashed that every lady is sexually available if coerced rightly. And that a protest at the beginning of forced sex always turn into sounds of pleasure and enjoyment during the act. This is seen in the ridiculous defense that some of these boys accused of rape put up like ‘I thought she was enjoying it’.

Statutory rape is sex with an underage person or a person below the age of consent. The age of consent varies from country to country and from state to state in Nigeria.  And marital rape is forceful sex with an unwilling spouse. Marital sex and domestic violence increased in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic enforced lockdown nationwide.

Rape can be an opportunistic crime or an act of revenge meaning it is premediated. When a female is attacked on the road by a stranger or strangers and is either raped or otherwise sexually assaulted then such an incident can be opportunistic but when it is a result of unrequited amorous advances from the male then it is a revenge that was premeditated.  In the second instant the victim knows the rapist and might have even visited the rapist on invitation not knowing the evil intentions of the rapist.

The History of Pandemics and Hope of Humanity

Solution and Punishment

The solutions to these increasing incidences of rape, pedophilia and incest are varied as are the reasons for it. Some of the reasons are mental in nature, so the solutions must be medical while others are societal and as such require societal re-orientations.

Yet the punishment or deterrent aspects of the solutions cannot be overemphasized.  With pedophiles a medical course of action is required to help such people overcome the urge to molest children by educating mothers on the signs to lookout for in avuncular males who their daughters either are fearful of or too attached to.

The law enforcement agents must be reoriented in strict professionalism is a fact that must be repeated until this is the norm. Victims of rape must have the confidence that the law would be on their side when they go to lodge a formal complaint. This change of attitude among policemen will make the perpetrators think twice as they know that the law is on the side of the victims.

Freedom of information cannot mean freedom to watch any and everything online. Even in the West child porn sites are restricted and people are often prosecuted for visiting and downloading stuffs from such sites. A similar move might be necessary in Nigeria.

The society needs to de-emphasize wealth at all cost which is making young boys seek spiritual powers.

Finally, the society must stop stigmatizing, ostracizing, and blaming the victims, actions unfortunately sustaining the culture of silence which is the catalyst to rape in our society. Rather the rapists must be the ones to suffer perpetual ignominy and shaming. If this reversal is employed other would be rapist would learn that those few minutes of forced pleasure might lead to a lifelong stigmatization for them and their families.

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