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Victims’ Ordeal And Role Of Parents In Curbing Rape

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REALRITA (not her real name) was aged 11 when a commercial driver called Taiwo allegedly violated her. The man who was in his 30s took advantage of this 11-year-old girl right beside her mother’s shop where she sells slippers and telephone recharge cards around Council Bus Stop, Idimu, Alimosho council of Lagos state.

The girl was enticed with a movie into a barbershop where Taiwo raped her. Speaking with the victim, she said: “He was playing the movie and asked me to come and see the movie. When, I came into the barbershop, I realised he was the only one inside. When I entered, he asked me to sit down and he later changed the movie.”

The girl said it was a movie where men and women were sleeping naked. “He later asked me to sit on his leg and removed my pant. He then put something on his manhood and forced it into my anus. It was painful but he continued to do so for a while and later asked me to lick his cock until something came out him.” Rita’s mother was not in the shop this fateful day.

Taiwo assumed nobody saw him but young small boys, who also came to the barbershop, witnessed the whole scenario through an aperture on the door.

It was these boys who jokingly abused Rita, saying that she was a spoilt, girl for licking brother Taiwo’s manhood. This was what an elderly woman and interrogated the boys and the victim. The woman later reported the matter to the girl’s mother who was babysitting at home.

This case was reported to the police station, and Taiwo was arrested but weeks later, The Guardian gathered that he resurfaced on the street and walk away free.

Ayo (not real name), another rape victim reportedly shared the bitter experience of how her church bishop in Imo State forcefully slept with her under the pretence of helping her.

Ayo said she went to seek financial assistance from the bishop who was heading her church. But the clergyman lured her into his bedroom and forcefully raped her.

“The so called ‘man of God’ asked me to come to his house to receive the financial assistance and I went there without an inkling of what he had in mind. The clergyman slept with me forcefully. Being a physically challenged lady, there was nothing I could do to stop him. And yet he never helped me solve my financial problem.” Tears rolled down the cheeks of this lady who is in her 20s as she told The Guardian her ordeal.

She continued: “I reported the case to the Police station and they promised to help fight for justice for me but few weeks after, the police came to arrest me and locked me up for days, claiming I lied against the man of God.”

Asked if she wanted The Guardian to follow up the story, Ayo, said she doesn’t want the public to know for fear of her future.

Zinab, a 14-year-old girl, is another victim of domestic rape. Her stepfather raped her several times before her mother discovered it.

According to Zinab’s neighbours that recounted the story to The Guardian, it was her mother who cried out for help from the public after much effort to stop the dastardly act by her husband, popularly called Baba Glo.

People living in Igando area where the incident happened believe that the affair between Zainab and her stepfather might have started since she was 12 years old. They confirmed that Zinab’s mother cried out for help when she could no longer bear it.

The story had it that the mother woke up at midnight and found out that her husband was not in bed. Out of curiosity, she went around to check in their toilets and bathroom, but found out that the man was not there. A further search by Zainab’s mother revealed the unholy act between her daughter and her husband. She caught her daughter, Zinab and husband pants down and she raised the alarm.

Another case of rape happened in Ijegun, Alimosho area of Lagos where two young men of age 20 and 21 gang raped a girl aged 14. These young men enticed the primary school girl into their room at No 7 Mustapha Street with a cup of ice cream. According to the information gathered, the girl had been coming home to see one of them over a cup of ice cream and had been sleeping with her. The incident happened right behind the house of this reporter who even came to her rescue on that fateful day.

To check this menace, parents and guardians need to wake up from their slumber and watch their children grow up assured of their safety.

Speaking with a parent on what they are doing to safeguard their female daughters from being raped, Mrs. Busola Ajibola said: “I cannot relate with a grown man or woman engaging in any form of sexual activity with a child. A minor cannot give any form of consent! They do not have the mental capacity to do so. They can’t engage their violators in a struggle. Worse is they are likely not to be able to give a detailed explanation of the incident. It is an act I almost equate with murder, and if I have my way, a child violator should be punished with life imprisonment.

“Largely, most cases of child sexual abuse go unreported but justice even seems elusive in the few reported cases, as most violators are able to buy or negotiate their freedom. Sometimes, I wonder if the law will be as quiet in the cases of child sexual abuse if for instance a parent of the victim choose to take laws in their own hands, say pour acid, or murder the violator of their child out of provocation.
  
“I have a four-year-old girl and I do everything I can to sensitise and protect her. I call all organs by their names when I am talking to her. I tell her nobody, not even I and her dad has the right to touch special parts of her body; her vagina, her bottoms, her breasts, and her lips except for the sake of helping her to clean. I also let her know she can’t touch others in these places. When she turned three, I taught her how to clean her vagina and asked her to insist on cleaning it herself if someone older is bathing her. They can and should only supervise her. I also explain to her always that she can tell Mummy anything, even if someone ask her to keep anything secret. I intend to raise my son the same way.”

But protecting these children cannot just be limited to parental sensitisation and protection. Government and the society have to ensure that all children are safe. There should be policies that would help keep these demons behind the bars or at least, deter them.

A pharmacist, Mrs. Adejumo said, as a matter of fact, she instructs her daughter not to open the door for any relative when she is not around. They educate her from time to time about rape. When her father sees story in the national dailies, he calls her to read it and tells her it is real. He equally advises her not play carelessly with any man or relative.

“We don’t leave her behind in church for any programme and we don’t send her on errand alone. We don’t allow her to go into any neighbour’s house. And we always educate her on what she needs to know,” she said.
Adejumo advised that parents should also guard against rape by not entrusting their teenagers to anybody. Mothers should be more careful in the protection of their female children.


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