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Rape cases and the way forward

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Sir: Some days ago, concerned Nigerians with rightful thinking were in deep sorrow mourning a case of rape in a church, which was reported to have claimed the life of a University of Benin (UNIBEN) student, Uwa Omozuwa in Benin inside a church. The social media has received enormous comments in the course of this case. Arguably, no one is celebrating the act. Advocacy against the menace has hit the media space. Citizens in some states and institutions have carried a peaceful live protest against the action. However, it is only the victims of rape, who can explain how gruesome the act is. May rapists not feast on our bodies. Amen.
 
No doubt, the menace is not a recent phenomenon in this country and neither is it a new threat ravaging humanity at large. Historically, there were rape cases before the coming of colonial masters. Though, very finite. This was despite the kind of culture in some part of the country. Today, the number of rape cases has taken a flit in folds compared to the yesteryears figures. So sadden, it is increasing every year. Yes, divergent opinions have trooped the media on the causes of rape.

Some commentators believe that no factor can justify rape while others perceived indecent dressing as a leading factor tempting to rape.  To me, both are right. This is based on the environment people inhabit. Whether rape has a cause (s) or not, it depends on the culture of the Nigerian society. Each society has different cases of rape. Study the geo-political zones in Nigeria and fact-check this assertion.  However, a lot of questions have been raised questing for observations and recommendations on the appropriate way (s) to tackle the danger of rape. Based on this, I would recommend as follows.

To tackle this disheartening act, let’s apply the five agents of socialisation. Starting from the family, parents need to educate and enlighten their wards on rape, its atrocities and implications. Children, both male and female, should be given adequate knowledge of sex education. 

Schools being the second agent should be used to get rid off of rape in the society. Sex education should be a subject and course in the Nigeria educational system. This will give an avenue for the student to have vast knowledge and understanding of sex education. Also, peer group should be given adequate concern to. Peer group has influenced rapists greatly in the society. Friends with whom a child mingles within the society play a vital role in the life of the child. Surely, imitation would take place. An adage says, “show me your friend, and I ‘ll tell who you are.” Parents have a path to play here. Parents should know and be ready to investigate who their children are associating with.

Social media is another factor, which should be given preference to. Unfortunately, social media has become a corruptible avenue nowadays.  Incidences have occurred where a girl was raped due to the “funny” pictures she uploaded. Nothing can be outdated to change. It is never late to reform this habit. Changes can be brought by enacting laws which will regulate media users on their posts and violators of such should face the law. Protests can also be made using social media handles to curtail this menace.

Also, religion is an important medium to curb the act of rape. Clerics should preach against rape and admonish the worshipers on the sins attached to the act.  On the government side, the government needs to strengthen our judicial system so that the implementation of already made laws on rape should be well established and given a fast approach too. Perpetrators should face the wrath of the law.

On a serious note, if there is a possibility of reviewing the laws of rape in our constitution, I recommend there should be comprehensive research on the cases of rape in different parts of the country to understand the concept enough.

Abdulganiyu Abdulrahman Akanbi.


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