Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there’. – Kurt Cobain
My friend told me how she has been teaching her daughters to boldly attack and shame anyone that tries to touch any part of their body intentionally without their consent. This was in response to a post on Facebook where a lady was teaching women what to teach their girls. You know, how to attack, where and how to hit effectively to draw blood, the vulnerable spots and the works.
I have been in circumstances where I wished I knew a bit of taekwondo or martial arts. This, coming from an extremely non-violent person speaks volumes. Yes, I believe every woman should be able to defend herself against all forms of #ViolenceAgainstWomen. It is a matter of necessity actually. If we cannot all hit our oppressors, then we should have pepper sprays and stilettoes.
There are modern means of defense against rape, including the use of apps and networks being taught to women and girls. Parents should encourage their kids to fight back any way they can. We teach each other to be stronger, to fight back, to resist, to be more careful – all excellent but inadequate.
It is good to encourage women to avoid rape but better to teach or coerce the men not to rape. It is time to channel more energy towards educating men on the evils of rape. I mean, if there were no rapists, there would be no need for my daughter to learn boxing as a defense method, unless of course she willingly wants to box for the love of it. Imagine a world free of sexual predators!
Now, how do we teach men not to rape? How do we make the rapist to unlearn sexual molestation? – Cultural and attitudinal reorientation. This culture that teaches boys to hide their emotions, to be a ‘man’, to go for whatever they want at all costs, to feel superior to the girls need to be addressed.
Boys must be made to realize that consent is needed before you can have any form of sexual contact with her. It does not matter whether she is under the influence, unconscious or dressed like a whore. Teach young boys that ‘NO’ simply means ‘NO’.
Our society depicts women as sexual objects most of the times, their humanity as women forgotten. Boys and society at large see women as objects for the pleasure of men. You see men laughing about how their friend tied her to a post and raped her, you hear them discussing how she was wailing like a baby while they gang-raped a woman. The woman is nothing, has no emotions to be considered, no self-worth, no value. She is to be used for their pleasure and then discarded.
The disheartening aspect of reporting rape is unbelief, denial and victim-blaming. Oh she asked for it. Lolz, you want me to believe that Mr. H will stoop so low as to look at you in a sexual way, you? No, my husband would not do such a thing, he simply cannot. (Rolling my eyes). The fact that she was raped is shameful enough in itself, to be labeled a liar and dehumanized in addition is adding salt to injury. Why not investigate the matter first?
Intervention! Don’t stand by and say it is not your business. Hush your friends when they make lousy jokes about girls. Stop the perpetrator before he indulges in the act. It can save a woman from a lifetime of pain and trauma.
Stronger punitive measures against rape should be in place and enforced accordingly. There are no sacred cows where rape is concerned. Whoever is found guilty should be punished adequately. The loopholes in some legal systems that make it easy for rapists to thrive need to be plugged.
Parents and wards, let us raise gentlemen who would love and respect every woman they come in contact with. It is not too early to start.
In our conversations with ourselves, our peers, colleagues, neighbors, children, wards or students, emphasis should be on men learning not to rape women.
Little Ochanya gave up the ghost on 18th of October at Otukpo General Hospital after unsuccessful battle with VVF.
Cause of Ochanya’s VVF – Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbaje contracted VVF due to the incessant assault on her tender anus and vagina for more than 3 years. She was raped and sodomized from 8 years old when she came to live with her mother’s relative. At 13 years old, Ochanya eventually lost the battle.
The Culprits –
Whatever name you give them, they deserve it. Mr. Andrew, 51, is a Senior Lecturer. His son Victor is a final year student. Both found an 8 year old body irresistible, they found her more alluring than all the beautiful tantalizing ladies around. The son began the raping game first but when his sister discovered it and reported to the family, the father, after paying lip servicw to the issue, joined his son. Together, they raped and ssodomized Ochanya for years, destroying her young organs in the process.
The Police arrested Mr. Lecturer earlier on, but for God knows why, he was released from custody. Not only was he released, he went right back to his lectures and his normal life. The son? No one seems to know his whereabouts.
In pursuit of education and better life, Ochanya left her village to live with her relatives – the rapists. According to her, her woes began when she was just 8. Both men took turns ravaging her.
Wondering why she didn’t seek help? If you have ever been a victim of rape, you wouldn’t wonder. Besides, the barbarians threatened her and on occasions, drugged her into submission. Despite all her tribulations, she continued with her education which the demons terminated at Junior Secondary class 1.
And Mrs Andrew?
Ochanya’s aunt, I kept wondering about her, wondering whether she was dead, insane or simply blind. But obviously, none of the above applies to her. I personally would love to hear from her. Like, ask her how she could turn a blind eye to such inhuman acts in her home. Was she watching while her men did it? Are they all perverts? What was she thinking? How could she keep mute in such disheartening and traumatic situation? Did she hate Ochanya that much?
The Nigerian Justice System – The Police arrested Mr. Randy lecturer. He was arraigned before a court, remanded in prison custody, refused bail, yet he was home and free, going about his normal business. How did he escape from custody when there was no bail and no prison break?
Randy undergraduate son was never arrested, never charged to court, not detained. How come he is invisible? Or maybe he is simply above the law.
My heart weeps for Ochanya, for all her unsown fields, for all her unfulfilled dreams. I weep for the childhood she was denied, for the trauma she underwent for years. I weep for her pains and trauma.
Will Ochanya’s death and suffering not be appeased? Will she be denied justice even in death? Will Nigeria fail her in life and in death?
I demand #JusticeForOchanya. That is the only way her death can be endured and appeased, only when the rapist family Pay for their inhuman treatment.
Sexual abuse and molestation in Nigeria is something we are all used to as females. A guy can boldly and shamelessly share the story of how he forcefully had sex with a number of girls to a mixed audience of male and female, young and old. Instead of the expected outburst from the audience, especially the female ones, don’t be surprised when you get nothing but boisterous laughter and such comments as ‘serves the bitch right’, ‘what was she even doing alone with you?’, ‘if they won’t give you freely, you take by force, after all, you are the man’ and that ends that.
Rape in Nigeria is often the fault of the victim and therefore there is nothing to discuss or fight for, they ask for it. And so the culture of silence continues, we feed it and nurture it, all of us. We nurture it by not speaking up, by not supporting the victims, by shaming the victims, by pretending and accepting it as a norm.
I searched for #MeToo Nigeria on twitter and I came up with mostly lamentations of how it just cannot work in Nigeria – which is probably true, but can’t we just try a bit?
No, I have never been abused by a celebrity of any sort, but yes, I have suffered sexual molestation. In fulfillment of my promise in my last post, here goes…
My first gory experience with rape was after my university when I was looking for a better job than the one I had. He was my school mate in elementary school, I met him again as a course mate and the president of my departmental students’ Union in the university. He became my friend and the brother I didn’t have. This relationship continued even after school and we graduated into family friends.
My crime however, was that I pleaded with him to assist me in getting a better job, nearer home to which he gladly agreed. And when we met to discuss this issue, Buli, my friend felt that if he should help me, then I must have sex with him and when I said NO, he saw no other alternative than to forcefully have his way. He was a married man at the time, still is, with kids he adore, he is a church minister’s son. He was my friend, my brother from another mother, and he raped me and I did nothing about it aside feel sorry for myself and angry at him and myself in addition to dealing with the guilt.
My second experience with rape was just a couple of years back; you would think I would have been smarter by then. Ben used to share a shop with his brother in my cousin’s compound and my cousin’s house happened to be my second home. He was a likeable and trustworthy guy whom my cousin could entrust her shop and home to any time. He asked me out countless times and I politely declined each time. When I moved far away from home, we stopped communicating and I felt he was fed up with me. But when I relocated back home, he became a regular visitor in my mum’s home.
He invited me to his apartment several times and I declined but my cousin told me that since he was a nice person whom we all knew, that there was nothing untoward in going to his apartment. I visited him one afternoon. After the pleasantries, Ben began to list my sins for me, how I had declined his advances for so many years, how he had loved me for ages without my reciprocating. I apologized and explained to him again that I declined because I did not love him and we began to argue back and forth. Then he gave me the verdict that I cannot leave his apartment till I had given him sex. I guess that was my punishment and payment for all my atrocities. He locked his doors and took the keys, telling me that even the shouting spree I wanted to embark on would not help me as no one was around to hear me. After all the drama, Ben succeeded in sexually abusing me.
Maybe this would have helped. I think I need some lessons in taekwando.
Say No to Sexual abuse
>It is another 25th of November. It is another international day for the elimination of violence against women. It is another reminder of the role you can play to put an end to gender based violence.
Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls . That is the theme for this year’s celebration and it advocates for the total elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls irrespective of their location or colour.
Gender violence and discrimination occur in developed nations as well as developing nations. The only difference would probably be in the magnitude and penalty.
An experience I had recently taught me that Violence against Women (VAW) does not necessarily mean physical violence. It cuts across emotional and psychological violence.
I dated and loved someone I thought was the best guy there was. Turned out he was not just a chronic womaniser, but he had very little respect for most of these women. I was blind to that part of him because he gave me 100% respect and what I thought was love. But when the chips were down, he made me realise he held little respect for the other women by the way he picked, used and tossed them aside. They were only there to satisfy his sexual desires. Their opinions, rights and feelings di not amount to anything. After all, they are ‘mere women’. As far as I am concerned, he exposed me as well as those other ladies to emotional and psychological violence and it was uncalled for.
I believe every woman, irrespective of job, color or location, has experienced one form of violence or the other. I recently listened to the Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie speaking on feminism and I realised that even the celebrities are not left out of this inequality mindset. Personally, I am getting used to having waiters and waitresses greet and fuss over the man beside me while acting like I am not even there.
Image courtesy of http://www.chimamanda.com
But when the famous Chimamanda explained how it also happens to her, I could only laugh at our society.
Funny enough, some men believe VAW is a thing of the past while many more others believe the female victims asked for it. They ask, what was she doing in a room alone with a guy? She asked to be raped. Like seriously?
But for me, it is more painful when women themselves think through their anus by joining the men to ask such questions. Or when they spearhead the maltreatment of widows or fail to teach their sons to respect and care for their sisters. Who would blame a guy whose mother taught from childhood, that he is more important than his sister? That he can rough-handle the neighbour’s daughter if she refuses to dance to his tunes?
And what about those women that fold their hands and watch their husbands and sons and brothers, rape their daughters and nieces and cousins? They sacrifice the happiness and future of these young girls on the alter of ‘family name’. They stand and watch mutely lest they bring the family name to shame. Is that one even a family?
There are more female excisors than males, women who still believe that a woman must be genitally mutilated to please a man and keep the ladies loyal and pure – for the man. Excuse me!
No one deserves to be treated like an animal. No girl, no woman deserves to be violated, for any reason at all. There is absolutely no justification for violenece against women. I mean, how can you justify punching a woman senseless by saying she talks too much or rudely? Who punches you when you misbehave? Is she justified to rape the guy because he visited her?
Today, all of us, male and female, young and old, white or black, we are being called upon to make a difference, to help end violence against women and girls.
Will you stand up to be counted?