Monday, June 27, 2016

#OpeEd: Let’s talk about Rape by Joel Oseiga Aleburu; @JoelOseiga.

I woke up planning to write about my weekend trip to Abuja and about how the sole of my shoe removed at a park in the middle of town only to see a tweet by an on air personality blaming rape on indecent dressing on the part of the ladies. I am just mad right now! So why not let’s discuss RAPE! The truth about RAPE is you never know how delicate and sensitive the matter is until someone you love experiences it. The story of the girl that was gang raped by five boys in ABSU made news both nationally and internationally years ago. What was her offence? She insulted one of the boys. We live in a cruel world but the truth is the Nigerian society encourages rape!

You don’t go about blaming rape on a girl that dressed “indecently”! Come to think of it, decent dressing is relative! There is no world known standard for what dresses are decent! The issue shouldn’t be “them rape you! Watin you wear??” Most people who get raped end up wallowing in silence because of the stigmatization attached. Nobody wants to hear her side (Does she even have a side in the first place?) ! Let me share a story I read some time ago.
“I remember when I was a lot younger, a friend of mine told me about how she was coming from school and behind her was this guy who wanted to date her and had been pestering her for a while. She was in the university and was about 17 at that time. She said immediately she approached a certain area, the young man quickened his pace, caught up with her and started dragging her to a deserted corner. On sensing what the guy was about to do, she immediately started to scream and she shouted for help. Fortunately for her, some women close by heard her scream and immediately rushed to where she was. Naturally they asked what the problem was and the guy lied that she was his girlfriend and they were just ‘playing’, an allegation she promptly denied. Thankfully the women scolded them and ensured that my friend got home safely. The following day, her parents reported the incidence to the police in other to forestall any future ‘ugly’ occurrence and the first thing they asked was ‘Watin you wear?’. She told them exactly what she was wore; a pair of jeans trouser and a shirt whose hands were tiny straps with her breasts and tummy properly covered. She said the police started laughing and making jest of her. They even went on to say she deserved it as her dressing ‘called’ the boy. They told her parents not to waste their time as nothing will come out of the case as anywhere they take the case to, their daughter will be blamed but they should instead advice their daughter not to wear clothes that will ‘call’ men. According to her, all this happened in the boy’s presence. “

Unlike this story, one of my friends back in school was not so lucky. According to what we heard from those who saw her last, she had gone to buy some things on her street when some boys followed her to her house from afar and raped her to death. This lady in question was one who always sat at on one of the first three pews of chapel, was a church worker and wore really long skirt! She does not expose her body at all! The really annoying thing is when the boys were interrogated; they said they raped her because “she was too proud”! How was she proud? she refused the advances of one of them! She never “dressed anyhow” or “called” men with her dresses.

Just as I said earlier, the Nigerian society in a way encourages rape. Imagine raping someone, recording it and then posting the video on the internet to “humiliate” the girl. If the culprits knew they wouldn’t get away with it, they wouldn’t even try it in the first place. Most commonly, Rape is a crime of opportunity. The victim is chosen not because of her looks or cloths but because she is there. Perpetrators do not select their victims by their appearance; they select victims who are accessible and vulnerable.

“I was 14 years old when four unilag young men decided I should be raped because I refused to date their friend. I was in Jss 3 and in my school uniform. How decent do you want me to dress again? It took years for me to comprehend and tell someone about what happened that faithful afternoon. So when some ignorant ones stay behind social media and claim one should dress decently so they don’t get raped, I ponder. Our silent culture and the fact that one’s body seem to be free for all isn’t okay. It is just not right.” – Nkemakomam Ijeh

Hopefully, before the end of next week, I should be able to get an exclusive interview with Madam Ijeh.

When a lady comes to your house and you make advances then she says No, it means NO. Do you know what NO means? No doesn’t mean try harder, No means NO! Rape/Sexual abuse is the greatest crime against humanity, you are killing someone’s soul and the repercussion is devastating. The worst part is our community has no place for victims to heal. Adults fall victim to rape, kids more so. If you are blaming adult victims on their dress modes, how about kids? Would indecent dressing prompt a 65 year old man to rape a 4 year old girl? These rapists are mentally deranged.

Instead of blaming rape on a woman’s indecent dressing and teaching women how not to get raped, let parents start teaching their boys how to treat a woman. If a girl comes to your house dressed “indecently” - based on your standards - and says No, if you must rape, find a bathroom and rape yourself. Indecent dressing or not, there is never an excuse for rape. There should not be motive to justify rape. It’s a crime, just like taking what isn’t yours.

In conclusion, blaming rape on a girls dress is just saying “That girl is dressed indecently; let me correct her with my penis!” Now that is wrong and should not be allowed. Even if a lady comes to your house stack naked and says No, you have no right to rape her! Rape is wrong in every way and shouldn’t be blamed on cloths. You want to speak out and share your experience on RAPE? 

This article was written by Joel Oseiga and to read more of his articles, please visit his BLOG.

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