Sexual assault will remain a mirage until society puts in place institutional framework to deal comprehensively with cases of sexual assault. There’s no iota of doubt that women get raped more than men and that is one of the reason focus of justice is placed on women.
Rape is an unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual inter course carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent. Section 357 of the criminal code gives a better meaning to it.
Your understanding as an educated individual on what rape is would be quite different from the understanding of an illiterate. Then the question, “how do the illiterate also get to be enlightened? ” will surface. Most victims do not voice out due to the burden of not knowing who to talk to, whether they would get justice and most times because of their poor standard of living(lack of money to get an attorney) and lack of education. Why are we being bias? Though most illiterate know what ‘rape’ means but there’s difficulty in voicing out.
Most victims from rich background get justice than the opposite. Are they not created the same way? There should be equality before the law. There should be equal treatment for all including the young and old.
The believe that rape is being done to victims by people they know, is very true. 30% of this case is done by people we do not know but 70% of this cases are done by people close to us. We get to see father rape his daughter, teacher rape his student, master rape his servant and get threatened not to talk otherwise they die.
Consent is the most important aspect of this part. If you do not consent to any sexual intercourse you find yourself in is RAPE. Understand that your consent is your key to any intercourse. This is why public enlightenment is important by every individual in a society and even by the government.
Public enlightenment has been shown to be a critical tool in changing behaviour and beliefs of people. Therefore there should be intense enlightenment and education at schools, social clubs, churches, mosques and through the media to demystify the myths about sexual assault.
Understanding what to do if one is raped is something no one wants to know. As a victim, your safety should be paramount to you. Consider calling someone to offer moral support and I tell you, you do not need to go through it alone.
Reporting a case would help you get justice. Justice they say may be delayed but can never be denied. Reporting might actually be the last thing you would want to do but there are activists ready to go through your issues with you and bring you justice.
Its never too late to report a rape case even if it occurred after months. You have to remember that; attempted rape is still RAPE, indecent assault done on you is RAPE, defilement is RAPE, rape by deception is RAPE. Voice out! Get your justice! Your integrity, dignity and honor shouldn’t be stepped on! Fight for freedom from shame!
Being raped isn’t the end of the world. Your back might be laid forcefully on a floor but your voice should not be forcefully shut too. You are the strong woman you’ve always been.
Safe yourself from this trauma.
© HABEEB HABIBAT
A PART 4 LAW STUDENT
OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY
FB: Habeeb Habibat Dolapo