UNILAG Against Rape – Opinion article

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By Akindutire Elizabeth

While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless victim. Sexual assault on women is a common event in our country. Beneath sexual assault are rape,child sex abuse, girls slavery, domestic violence. Of all these crimes, rape is the most violent crime which is committed against women. Rape destroys a woman’s modesty. After a rape incident,a woman lives a disgraceful life which includes fear,frustration, depression, social stigma and it also prompt them to commit suicide.

According to statistics, two women are raped in the country every hour. It appears that the rapists are not scared of laws. Sadly, most rapes are not committed by strangers but by men who know their victims,who often have gone out with them previously and are supposedly their friends. There is clearly an urgent need to step up and curb this awful act. The important question which arises when we talk about rapes is what causes rape. One of the cause is lack of safety. Women are not safe outside their homes and even insides their homes. As the accused is not sentenced, others just think they can go around freely and rape whosoever they like. The victims are defamed and compromises are made to drop charges against them.Some of this rapists even go ahead to marry their victims. This gives a further thrust to this horrible crime.

In recent times, people have blamed women’s clothing as responsible for increasing rape case. This is totally wrong. No clothing is an invitation to rape. A woman should be able to wear whatever clothes she wants. No amount of provocative clothing is an invitation to rape.Rape is unacceptable. The rapist is to blame not the victim. A number of cases have been reported where the guilty has committed the crime in the house of the victim. Studies shows that rape victims are more likely to report sex crimes if female police officers are available.

Children of tender ages are being raped. Can we really blame clothes for crimes like that? When people talk about rape and clothing,it is always about women’s clothing not men’s clothing. People who try to portray clothing as the main cause of rape are trying to hide the crime.We should be criminalizing the act of rape. When a child is sexually harassed,we label the criminal as mentally unstable. We make light to the crime when we do this. Women and girls are not being treated as human beings but as sexual products.

The vital need of today is to control this crime . The most important step to be taken is the strengthening of laws dealing with sexual assaults.Death penalties should be imposed on rape accused. Women and children are vulnerable to sexual violence during war, whether in the presence of fighting,while escaping from their homes or even inside camps for refugees or Internally Displaced People. We need to prevent this widespread of sexual violence by increasing the security in refugees camps. A woman’s group should be formed in every district which would entirely deal with problems of women. If you witness sexual harassment at the workplace or in public places,report the act. Don’t tolerate it. Rape care centre should be established. Such centre should play a dire role in supporting rape victims to cope up with the psychological trauma and also guide them to obtain legal remedy.Together we can curb the sinful act.

Women are wonderful daughters,sisters ,wives and mothers. They should be loved,cared,respected and protected.

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