“There is no better way of describing the actions of rapists except as manifestations of tinge of madness or anti-social behaviours.”
Egwu Ben Obasi
In recent times, rapists appear to have broken loose in their bid to forcefully satisfy sexual urge. Their unbridled escapades have now expanded to involve encounter with babies, young girls, ladies and the very aged. Rape has also beaten convention to now involve encounter with fellow men (homosexuals), with fellow women (lesbians) and with both male and female (heterosexuals). Gang rape, a case of multiple rapists against a victim, is regularly reported. Rape experiences have been very traumatising resulting in death, suicide and contraction of sexually transmitted infections and terminal diseases.
People get involved in different types of rape such as forcible rape, acquaintance rape or date rape, marital or spousal rape, and statutory rape. Rape of men, though relatively infrequent, also does occur. Campus rape is usually committed in campus and school environments.
Daily, the airwaves are inundated with news of rape cases same way the newspapers and the tabloids are awash with similar rape reports. Leaders in places of worship have been implicated in rape of members; and teachers in rape of pupils and students. Morally debased individuals commit sodomy in an attempt to satisfy sexual desires. The cases are endless. Fathers, and supposed grand or great grand fathers, in a rape encounter sound unbelievable, but this is a fact. Men who rape co-tenants’ wives and children do not seem to appreciate the importance attached to good neighbourliness and the risk of long-life stigma of mistrust and immorality. Some professionals in very respect- ed fields have reportedly come down low to indulge in forcible sex. Many cases of non-consensual sex that have resulted in death make it imperative for the law to punitively bare its fangs. Ensuring this will conscientise the society to avoid this display of beastly instincts, orcrass bestiality.
Traumas rape victims go through after rape encounter are better imagined than experienced. Raped victims experience stigmatization and embar- rassment; feel sense of guilt; show detachment and depression; have suicide thoughts and nightmares, etc. Other rape trauma syndromes like headache and disinterest in socializing as desired also result, leading to the raped individuals generally distrusting men.
Rape can result in contraction of HIV/AIDS as preventive measures are usually not taken before encounter. Rape of persons who are not sufficiently mature to encounter sex predispose them to vesico vaginal fistula (VVF) ordeal due to immature birth canal. Gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B, genital warts, genital herpes, etc. are among the sexually transmitted infections and diseases that result from rape. Unwanted or teenage pregnancies are very likely with attendant consequences like, death through abortion, barrenness, and birth of bastards and ‘area children’.
There is no better way of describing the actions of rapists except as manifestations of tinge of madness or anti-social behaviours. It is an absurdity, and characterises mental derangement, for a father to rape, and even impregnate, his daughter. If this is news, it is more news having a woman rape a man – a rarity nonetheless which often passes unreported. Nothing else other than insanity traits can drive rapists into their sordid acts. Or what else can make people supposedly normal to defile children below two years of age, rape mad persons; gang rape girls and even women old enough to be their mothers or grandmothers, and admire housemaids as live-in lovers for sex slavery.
In view of the growing prevalence of rape in our society, precautionary measures need to be taken urgently to prevent frequency of occurrence. In a world where crazy fashion is a trend, our ladies must imbibe the correct dressing sense by not dressing provocatively almost to the point of nudity so as to avoid undue seductive attraction. They must not walk alone at night or along lonely routes; avoid drugs or intoxicants that can lead to being in unconscious state; maintain comfortable moral distance from strangers and suspected relations; speak out or report threats immediately. They must be drilled in the art of self-defence to manage to fight off encounter. They should beware of social network relationships that can result to an invitation and possible rape encounter with strangers; be wary of accepting gifts from unfamiliar sources; avoid watching pornographic movies and materials, or reading other immoral literatures. They must not hitchhike as the characters of the drivers they are requesting lift from, most times, are usually unknown. They are advised at all times to strive to save themselves or remain regrettably unsaved.
Parents are prevailed upon to stop abusing their children by not making them run errands at unholy hours of the night to avoid dangerous exposure. They should be involved in parental-guided films their children watch to be sure the films do not potentially corrupt morally; control their rate of internet patronage; tell them the implication of improper touch, and teach sex education. They should watch out for that ‘uncle’ that has started making undue passes at, or messing up, the little ‘niece’. Fathers who should not stand the trauma of seeing their own daughters raped should not sexually abuse or rape other people’s daughters. Teachers and lecturers in campuses must know when to draw a line by avoiding sexual abuse under any guise. Heads of institutions must ensure that rape on campuses is discouraged through prevention of substance abuse and other deliberate policies aimed at curtailment. In addition, rape awareness seminars and programmes should be regularly organised. Religious organizations should, as a habit, make messages against rape a major part of their regular Sunday and Friday sermons to raise rape consciousness in order to reduce or possibly terminate incidence. NYSC members on primary assignments should be involved in STOPRAPE! campaigns.
Agencies of government entrusted with addressing the issue of rape should live up to their mandate by ensuring that rape laws are given the necessary teeth to bite and provide no escape routes for rapists. They should establish rape crisis centres and dedicated phone numbers at grassroots levels to report cases; strengthen ban on hard drugs and narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin which are among predisposing substances that enhance the urge of rapists to commit rape.
Stamping out committing of this crime demands that rapists should not be treated with kids’ gloves. They do not deserve a golden handshake. They rather deserve to be visited with the harshest maximum punishment deserving of rapists as prescribed by the rape law. Ifdeath sentence is not considered in rapecases occasioning death, life jail option should not merit prerogative of mercy.This way, a wedge could be put against perpetration of this act and to also send a strong message to paedophiles in our society to stop wasting our little girl children.
Obasi writes from Afikpo via [email protected]