Rapists On The Prowl

Photo Credit: www.ionigeria.com
Photo Credit: www.ionigeria.com

Ladies and gentlemen, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write about this subject matter, because somewhere in my subconscious I hoped and prayed that the scourge of rape would have greatly reduced by now. I have also been reluctant to tackle this issue, because there’s no way to write about rape without feeling a good measure of anger and sadness – emotions I was shying away from. The rape epidemic in Nigeria has been increasing at an alarming rate daily. The virtue of the women folk in particular has become endangered in our society. It is virtually impossible to open the crime section of any newspaper nowadays without reading about one reported case of rape or the other. It is baffling, as it is very worrisome because many non-governmental organisations, groups and individuals have been quite active in the fight against this plague. Yet incidents of rape keep rising.

Just yesterday, the news of a 61-year old security guard who had allegedly been sexually defiling two sisters, aged 10 and 11 years old broke! The story has it that this man would give them N200 and threaten to kill them if they ever breathed a word about what he was doing to them to their mother. Now, how does this kind of story not make one shed tears? How it does it not make one want to resort to violence?

Uncles raping nieces, Guardians sexually molesting their wards, random men sexually assaulting a lady, a tenant defiling his landlord’s child, house helps preying on the innocent children kept in their care, and even father’s defiling their own daughters! A few days ago, it was reported that a 46-year old father was arrested for allegedly raping his own biological 11-year old daughter! This same man is also believed to have impregnated a neighbour’s daughter some time earlier! The story of a factory worker in Osun State, who raped his 14-year old daughter six times between April and September was also aired recently. When asked why he did it; he blamed it on the devil. I also read about the case of a 32-year old police corporal who allegedly raped and impregnated a 12 year old junior secondary school student. These are only a few out of the numerous cases that are reported daily.

The most troubling part of this epidemic of rape is that there appears to be no age limit to who can be sexually violated (not that anyone deserves to be raped, at any age or time in their life) as infants, toddlers, little children, and even the elderly who are 60 years and above are not spared from this evil assault! What by Jove, would push a grown man to rape an eighteen months old baby or a 70-year old grandmother? What is sexually alluring or provocative about the body of a baby or an old woman?

As annoying and distressing as it sounds, a school of thought have consistently opined that indecent dressing is a major factor that predisposes women to rape, while this may not be entirely untrue, I dare say that rape due to scanty dressing is infinitesimal in the scheme of things, as most rape cases that have been reported have absolutely nothing to do with dressing. Secondly, this view indirectly suggests that our men have a hard time controlling their libido. If it is really about being scantily clad, why don’t we have have a preponderance of women who pounce on indiscreetly dressed men, who sometimes dash out of their houses in boxers to get something across the road? Are babies and little kids who are sexually assaulted usually badly dressed too? The argument for bad dressing as a predominant cause of rape certainly holds no water and is at best a leeway of sorts for lecherous men with roving phalli to blame their insatiable appetite for sex on the woman. That being stated, there’s nothing wrong in encouraging everyone in general (and not just women) to dress decently.

Despite the fact that many groups, foundations and non-governmental organisations have taken it upon themselves to campaign against rape by sensitizing the public, creating awareness and even staging protests which have involved celebrities and prominent individuals speaking against this social malaise when necessary, this ugly trend of rape persists! And even though, there are no reliable statistics on the number of rape cases in a year, as most incidents of rape tend to go unreported, it is believed that there has been a significant rise from the 678 reported rape cases that were recorded between March 2012 and March 2013 in Lagos State alone.

Rape is a crime under the criminal and penal code in Nigeria; it is a clear violation of Chapter 30, section 358 of the Criminal Code Act which states that “Any person who commits the offence of rape, is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.” Yet, I have never heard of any rapist who was sentenced to life imprisonment. Rather, convicted rapists only get at most a few years imprisonment – A sentence tantamount to a slap on the wrist! It is bad enough that cases of sexual offences are grossly under reported because of the stigma associated with victims, but it is worse that the few cases that are prosecuted end up with light sentences that are not nearly enough to serve as a deterrent to would-be rapists.

The government really needs to do more than just pay lip service to the fight against this despicable act. Castration may not be such a bad idea actually, even if it sounds barbaric. I honestly believe that the capital punishment should be imposed on anyone who’s found to be guilty of rape. Other states of the federation can also borrow a leaf of Edo and Ekiti States where registers have been opened to keep a record of convicted sex offenders.

After all is said and done, the fight against rape is the collective responsibility of everyone in the society. Parents in particular need to do more in ensuring that they do not abdicate the responsibility of bringing up their children to nannies and relatives.

Charity they say begins at home. Boys and young men should be taught from a very early age that the advantage of the physical strength they possess over their female counterparts should be deployed into protecting them, and not assaulting them. Victim shaming, character assassination and the social stigma attributed to rape will be a thing past if we are all more empathetic towards the plight of rape victims.

 

 

8 Replies to “Rapists On The Prowl”

  1. God bless you Lolo for writing on this topic. I am very paranoid when it comes to this issue because of my daughter. How much can one protect these little ones from evil. God help us sha. There should be no pardon when it comes to this kind of crime. Life in prison is what I advocate for.

  2. Sorry if I sound controversial here. A lecturer once said that a man’s brain is wired to think about sex. The slightest look at the face of a woman even if she’s decently dressed can trigger it. Call it the devil’s work for a man rapping his relative but incest was done in the early ages and wasn’t a crime. Today incest is a crime but that sex drive is still there. Some men can control their libido while others can’t. The moves you mentioned might curb the menace but it’s in no way going to stop it. After all, America has revised it’s gun laws countless number of times, yet gun violence of gruesome nature still exists. We live in a world of many problems and no matter how hard we try to stop it, the problem still persists.

    They say Hope is frail but it’s hard to kill it, therefore the only thing we can do is to be hopeful in the midst of all the effort that had been made to stop these menaces.

    1. Your perspective is indeed very interesting! Of course no crime can be totally stopped, but reduced to the barest minimum. There are countless ways by which a man can satisfy his sexual desire without resorting to rape. Comparing the early ages to these present times doesn’t exactly cut it, as things are very very different now just as you mentioned. No, rape cannot be stopped totally but it certainly shouldn’t become a normal occurrence. Thanks Kunle.

  3. It is very disturbing that the predominant cases involve individuals with extreme age brackets. The victims these days are within the teen – toddler age bracket. Thus, may we then infer a possible proliferation of paedophiles?? Personally, I am an advocate of the capital punishment for this sort of crime. In the minimum, a jail term of 25years. I believe perpetrators of this kind of crime are sick in the mind and very diseased in the overall. Otherwise, how does one explain defiling a toddler??! Punishment of convicted perperators of rape should also be widely publicised.

    Thanks Lolade for this piece.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with you. Stiffer penalties will go a long way in serving as a deterrent to potential rapists. Thanks Abayomi.

  4. We live in a crazy world, full of evil people,the things we hear about rape is sickening and horrifying, how can a father be sleeping with his 14 yrs old daughter? or a man defiling a 2years old baby,it is just crazy. It is wickedness of the highest order,and these cases are so rampant,pedophiles and perverts everywhere.
    Parents have a lot to do especially the mothers, all hands must be on deck to eradicate this thing called “rape”. I don’t particularly like the way rape cases are treated in this country, the perpetrator of this dastardly act sometimes comes out as the hero while the victim will be made to look like the villain. I support the idea of castrating, it will serves a lesson for others, since all other punishment sound too easy.

Drop a comment, will you! I appreciate them.