THE ISSUES OF RAPE ON UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN NIGERIA

Rape as an act of sexual assault against women has been on the increase in today’s society. The sexual assault and humiliation against women is one of the great crimes against humanity. The act never leaves the victims the same way. A woman in an insecure world is the roots of gender based violence in social conditioning and the society at large. However, it is worthy of note to understand that the gender based violence lies in the pervasive systems of inequality that penetrate the domination of men and the subordination of women in our society today. Men are given upper hands in everything and seen as superior and important than women in the society. The mentality of men superiority against women has led to many to see women as subject of sexual satisfaction; no value is placed on the girl child. Every now and then her body is violated and womanhood taken by force without her consent as the case may be. The issues of rape seem to be an everyday occurrence and discuss in the society as the act keeps increasing every day. The sexual violation of women leaves most of them traumatized; the memory never leaves them it takes a life time to heal from the trauma. No woman deserves to be sexually assaulted this way.

WHAT IS RAPE?

Rape is the act of forcefully going into a woman sexually without her consent. The act is usually done by force or threat to the woman’s life. Sex should be done by the consent of both party and not by the use of force by either of the party.

Rape leaves it victim feeling devastated and depressed, worthless and used. The psychological trauma that comes with been raped is frustrating and devastating and takes months and months of counseling to get the victim out of this state of trauma, worthlessness and hatred for the opposite sex that is seen in most rape victims.

Rape can also be said to be a type of sexual assault that involves sexual intercourse or sexual penetration usually carried out against the persons wish or consent. The act is usually carried out by physical force, coercion or against a person who is not able to give consent, such as one is unconscious, incapacitated or has an intellectual disability in some cases the person is below the age of legal consent.

THE SAFETY OF THE GIRL CHILD IN THE SOCIETY

With the recent occurrences of rape in the society, it can be categorically said that the safety of the girl child can no longer be guaranteed and is under threat in a patriarchal society as ours. Is it not bad enough that some society do not place value on the girl child and sees her as a mere tool for sexual satisfaction. Families especially in the rural areas do not give equal treatment or opportunity to the girl child as they do to the boy child. They do not care if the girl child is matured enough to handle sexual intercourse or give legal consent before giving her out for marriage, in most cases the man she’s married to end up raping the girl because she is unaware of what sex is neither can she handle it. this act not only excludes girls from decision regarding the timing of marriage and the choice of spouse is an abrupt and violent initiation into sexual relations.

Women live in an insecure world indeed. Rape and sexual abuse and exploitation remain a reality for countless women; many are trafficked, while some are even sold like cattle. What an insecure world for women.

The world health organisation estimated that one out of five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

The deeply rooted phenomenon of violence against women is one of the great crimes against humanity

THE LATEST INCIDENTS OF RAPE CASES IN NIGERIA

There have been recent rape cases making news in Nigeria. One of such cases is the rape and murder of a 22years old microbiology student by name Miss Uwavera Omozuwa that was rape and murdered in Redeemed Christian Church of God in Benin City. According to the security guard in the church who found Uwa, he said he found her unconscious and in the pool of her own blood, she was immediately rushed to the hospital by her family but later died after few days in the hospital.

The attack on university female students in Nigeria has horrified many in the country as students’ no longer feel safe in school or any other place. As seen in the social media today “justice for Uwa” has been trending and appropriate authorities informed we believe the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to book and justice served.

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS DONE ABOUT IT?

The government through the Nigerian police force is investigating the rape and murder of the 100level microbiology student of the University of Benin as seen in a statement by the Governor of Edo State he said:

I’ve ordered the Nigerian police force to thoroughly investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Miss Vera Uwaila Omozua, a 100level student of UNIBEN. We believe this is a move in the right direction to bring justice to Uwa. And will also serve as a deterrent to others in the society.

  1. WAYS TO CONTROL RAPE CASES IN NIGERIA

Rape or sexual assault occurs worldwide but is mostly pervasive in the developing countries like Nigeria. Sexual assault like social or legal anomalies can be amenable to preventive measures. There are various ways to control or curtail rape cases in Nigeria and some of them are:

  1. enlightenment: there should be public enlightenment on rape. Enlightening people has shown to change their perceptions, attitudes, beliefs and even value system. Their mentality on how they see and view rape cases must be changed, most people leave the perpetrator of the crime to looking at what she was wearing, and the place she was at the time of the crime, leaving out the perpetrator of the crime. We often instinctively search for a cause other than the real one failing to understand that she was raped because a man with the power to do so decided to rape her. This way of thinking obviously deflects blame from where it rightly belongs with the perpetrator of the crime.
  2. Educating the girl-child: educating the girl child goes a long way in boosting the socio economic and socio cultural status of women in the society. Educating the woman will empower her especially women who are often disadvantaged by the undue attention paid to the education of male children over their female counter parts as seen in most developing countries.

Educating the female child an giving her equal right and opportunity will go a long way in curtailing female trafficking and attendant risk of sexual assault and exploitation of the female child in the society.

iii. Security: providing adequate security for the girl child in the society is very paramount if rape cases must be controlled. There should be a formation of strong institutional framework to handle the cases of rape. All security agencies in the society like the police and justice systems should all be involved in any rape case and ensure justice is served. By so doing, every rapist will know that he will not go scot free if found guilty of any rape case.

  1. parents/guardians: parents/guardians have a big role to play in controlling of rape cases in Nigeria. Parents should let their children know what sexual assault means and also not to be quiet if they are sexually violated, no threat from whosoever should make them keep quiet and die in silence. Parents should also be mindful of the kind of people they leave their children to and also educate them on the importance of dressing decently.

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