Still on the plight of rape victims
Sir: Rape, according to Wikipedia, can be defined as a type of sexual assault involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. It is basically just sex you don’t agree to or that is against your will and can happen to males or females, children or adults. Rape has been an issue for a while now and not much has been done about it. The disheartening part is many victims deliberately refuse to report the incident for fear of stigmatisation.
Meanwhile, some rape cases reported to law enforcement agencies hardly get immediate convictions in the court. Researches have shown that more than a third of Nigerian women have been subjected to some kind of sexual assault, and one in 10 raped, according to the Mums net social networking site. Barely a third of victims go to the police, and another third tell no one at all, not even close friends. A rape victim is likely to suffer physical and psychological trauma.
Other feelings which rape victims commonly experience are hurt feeling and anger. The hurt stems from the inability to understand what would motivate someone to commit such an attack. It is common for victims to ask, “What did I do that would make him want to do that to me?” Anger about the personal violation is probably the healthiest reaction, because it turns the pain outward instead of inward, but it often takes time for a victim to acknowledge such feelings.
Sometimes too, fear becomes a problem in the life of the victim; the victim becomes scared of their environment, their health, people around them and even their personal relationships generally. The victims stop talking to everybody and become loners and sometimes this can even lead to psychological problems.
There was recently a trending story on tweeter calling on victims of rape to speak out and name the rapists. The movement and the campaign, to some extent were successful as it encouraged women to speak up about boys or men who have raped them. A long list was compiled and posted with the names of the rapists and some of the men denied it even after more than one woman mentioned their names. Even if the issue of rape cannot be killed totally, I think there should be more awareness about rape.
Most times, they speak to women about trying to avoid being raped, not going to lonely or deserted places alone at night, being careful with the kind of men they move with, but they forget to speak to the men about respecting women. As Harding points out, girls are often taught how to try to protect themselves while not enough focus is given to teaching boys not to rape. If possible, a death penalty should also be imposed on rapists to avoid more people from involving in this crime.
Rape victims should be shown more love and less of rejection and stigmatisation. Many people don’t know what rape does to an individual. Rape victims often want to commit suicide especially if they have an STD after the incident while other victims wish to transfer their STDs to other innocent people out of anger and hatred. They’ll feel that all hope is lost but a little love can go a long way in the life of a victim. Start showing love to them today!!!
• Joy Bankon wrote from Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota.
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