Why men rape, by experts
How we were sexually violated, by Nollywood star, other victims
By Romanus Okoye
Recently a 13-year-old girl was gang-raped in Owode-Ibese, Ikorodu, Lagos State. Today, the victim is reported to be three-months pregnant.
But hers isn’t an isolated case. On daily basis, media reports show the increasing rate of what has become a startling regular occurrence, in spite of the fact that life imprisonment is a possible consequence for rape, as enshrined in the laws of Nigeria.
A top Nollywood actress, Mrs. Rita Edochie. told Daily Sun that, as a little girl, she was raped by a family friend. “The mother of the boy that violated me was my mother’s friend. The boy’s mother was surprised when she heard of it, though the boy denied doing it.
She recalled: “It was when I was in primary six. While going to the hospital one day, he called me, used some diabolic means and sexually violated me. I could not tell exactly how it happened. But I told my mother because we were trained not to tell lies.
“I was not aware that I was pregnant then; I was so tiny. It was while we were playing games in the school that a fellow pupil insulted me that my tummy was like a breadfruit. I was angered and beat her up. The lesson teacher then asked us to go home and bring our parents. As a young innocent girl, who could not tell lies to the mother, when I got home, I told my mother what led to the fight. She then asked me to raise my dress up; which I did. And after examination, she said, ‘do you know that you are pregnant?’ I fainted.”
Mrs. Edochie said that parents, listening to their children’s complaints on happenings both in and outside the home could provide relief to the victims and would help in combating rape.
Another victim is Nkiru. Now in her late 20s, she remains single and hates men. She told the story of how she was raped by her maternal uncle at a tender age.
“I was eight years old and in primary three. Uncle Sam was my mother’s only brother, among five other siblings. My mother was the first and Uncle Sam the last, so he came to live with us. One weekend, my parents travelled and left me in his care, which was when he did it to me. I never told my story because my mother would not believe me.
“This incident happened many years ago. I grew up hating men generally. Although, I accepted Christ after the rape, it was not easy to forgive Uncle Sam and forget. The heaviness is still there, each time I come across such stories in the media, everything bounces back. And that might explain why I am still single at 28,” she said.
In Lagos not long ago, one Sheriff Oyewole was sentenced to 19 years imprisonment for raping a friend’s daughter. The prosecution said on August 16, 2015, at a hotel in Yaba area of Lagos, the accused lured the victim to the hotel after getting her drunk at a party, stripped her naked, soaked her clothes in water, recorded her nudity and threatened to release the video on social media if she refused to have sex with him.
The hotel attendants also testified during the trial that they heard noise from the room and rushed there only to see the complainant and the convict on their way out.
Oyewole, in his defence, claimed that what they had was mutual sex, explaining that the victim was his girlfriend of three years.
But the magistrate, Kikelomo Ayeye, in the judgment, said sex was only lawful within the confines of marriage.
“It is ridiculous to argue that a consenting partner, a girlfriend cannot withdraw consent. A person has the right to decline consent to sex whenever they want with whoever they want, including if they had already had sex with them,” she said.
While explaining reasons for sex pervasion, Director of Minnesota’s Intensive Treatment Programme for Sexual Aggressiveness, Richard Seely, said: “We believe that what’s wrong with a sex offender is what’s between his ears, not his legs. It’s his thinking that’s dysfunctional, not his sexuality. Rapists are who they learn to be. It’s not a product of their hormones.”
The coordinator, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, Lola Vivour-Adeniji, during a sensitisation programme, said rapists continued to perpetrate the act because they believed they would get away with their crime.
A lawyer, Festus Keyamo, in an interview with an online medium, also noted: “The problem hindering prosecution of rape cases is the unwillingness of many victims. It is one thing to allege being raped and another to lodge a complaint and proceed with the prosecution of the cases to logical conclusions. The complacency of the society and the nature of the act, which most victims perceive could stigmatise and tarnish their image, are issues.”
But an American author and renowned clinical psychologist, Dr. Nicholas Groth, founder of Forensic Mental Health Associates in the United States, who has seen more than 3,000 sex offenders in his decades of practice, said, “we look at rape as the sexual expression of aggression, rather than as the aggressive expression of sexuality.”
Groth pointed out that rapists fall into three motivational types: Anger, power and sadism. He said: “In anger assaults, the rapist is getting even for some wrong he feels has been done to him, by life, by his victim at the time. He’s in a frame of rage and attacks someone sexually.
“The anger rape is usually unpremeditated and impulsive, but the impulse drives the rapist into excessive force. The victim is punched, choked, kicked into submission. Most of such offenders derive little pleasure from the act. They want to degrade their victims, and sex is something bad, dirty, the worst thing you could do to someone. Anger rapists can be the most ruthless.
“The second type is power rape. It is a form of compensation, committed usually by men who feel unsure of their competence. Rape gives them a sense of mastery and control. Power rapists usually hunt for a victim, or seize an opportunity, like finding a young girl in the house after a break-in, for example.”
Groth defined the third type, sadistic rape, as eroticised aggression. “The very act of forcible sex excites rapists in ways that consensual sex can’t. If the anger components of aggression are eroticised, then you see sadistic acts, such as deliberate sexual torture, using an instrument to rape the victim.”
For gang rapists like the ones that violated the 13-year old girl, psychologist Gerald Kaplan, Executive Director of Alpha Human Services in Minneapolis, a community-based sex-offender programme, said that “alone, the participants may be incapable of sexual assault; but together, they may bait each other into monstrous acts. They tend to be more opportunistic than ordinary marauders. A lot of times, you may have one or more individuals in the group, who has the same arousal patterns as a rapist. But the typical gang rape is not like having a whole pack of rapists. In fact, most rapists are isolated people, who travel by themselves. It’s a much hidden part of their lives.”
In all, the Psychologist agreed that one of the most consistent elements in rape of all kinds is the absence of empathy. Most of the attackers persuade themselves that the victim wanted or deserved to be raped.
Dr. Gene Abel, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, who has studied hundreds of rapists over the past 20 years, believes that rapists suffer from a form of cognitive distortion that allows them to justify their actions in the face of stark evidence to the contrary. Abel recently saw a patient, who claimed he had never raped a woman, despite an arrest record, showing repeated rape charges. When he asked the patient how he would know a woman wanted to have sex with him, he replied that she was obviously willing if she spoke to him or invited him up to her apartment.
While delivering sentence in a rape case some time ago, Justice I.T. Muhammad said: “Rape in our society and indeed, in any human society, is a grave and serious offence committed by those people who are shameless, merciless and animalistic. I cannot imagine where one will put aside one’s honour, integrity and humanness to overpower or lure a young girl of tender age to have carnal knowledge of her. It is against common sense. It is against humanity and God the creator will not allow such a bestial behaviour to go unpunished even here in the mundane life.”
Justice Olukayode Arowoola also defined rape, as the “unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl without her consent, stating that the consent might be obtained by force or by means of threats, or intimidation of any kind or by fear of harm or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in the case of married woman, by impersonating her husband.”
The definition of what constitutes rape and the consequences of committing the crime are stated in Sections 357-363 of the Criminal Code, Sections 282-284 of the Penal Code and Sections 258-268, Sexual Offences of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.
Jubilation as Rotary Club installs first female president
By Tessy Igomu
Recently, some prominent Nigerians gathered to witness the installation of Titilayo Sunmonu as the first female president of the Rotary Club of Omole Golden. The day was indeed special because the club in its 13 years of existence had never had a woman aspire to man the club. The event held at the Anchor Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.
Among the dignitaries at the event was the Special Adviser to the President on Women Affairs, and former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.
The new president described the event as a memorable one because her emergence demonstrated the gender-mix nature of the club and its ability to maximise the leadership potentials of club members regardless of gender, ethnic or other biases. Sunmonu said that her emergence meant a call to hard work, adding that her dream was to leave the stage satisfied that she was able to impact on the lives of the vulnerable in the society.
Sunmonu, an insurance broker and winner of multiple Rotary International Gold Medal Awards on membership, disclosed that her desire to help the needy made her to join the Rotary Club. She, however, said her greatest challenge at the moment was to retain the award of the overall best club in District 9110, bearing in mind that the drive to once again emerge the winner this year would be a challenging one.
While highlighting the projects earmarked for the year, she disclosed that she had already kick-started her activities with a cervical-breast cancer screening and vaccination for women in Iju-Ifako community, while about 1,000 school bags were on ground to be distributed to pupils of public primary schools.
Sunmonu also disclosed that the club intended to donate an ICT laboratory to Ajuwon Senior Secondary School, in Ogun State as well as distribute reflective jackets and other security gadgets to the police and other para-military outfits.
Sunmonu then called on well-meaning Nigerians to partner with the club in the actualisation its initiatives aimed at changing the lives of the downtrodden. She also thanked all those who took time to volunteer by taking up some projects.
Her words: “While I recognise the significant contributions of the past presidents of this club, who have done wonderfully well to position the club at this enviable height, I also appreciate all the club members for putting their inestimable time, talent and treasure at the disposal of the club at all times.
According to her, the free breast and cervical cancer screening exercise carried out for women and schoolgirls at the Ifako Ijaiye Health Centre, Iju, was sponsored by FBN Insurance, while the school bags were donated by Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale, Chairman, Just Rite Superstores Limited. Your donation towards these projects would go a long way to ensure our quest to serve humanity is achieved.”
Chairman of the event, Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale, said that the society would be a better place if individuals focused on assisting others.
Aderinwale, described Rotarian Sunmonu as a committed, dedicated and resourceful woman with a passion to help the less privileged in the society. He congratulated the Rotary Club of Omole Golden for putting a round peg in a round hole and assured that she would bring her goodwill to bear on the club.
Aderinwale also said the effort of Rotary International to ensure that polio was completely eradicated could not be measured. He expressed joy that many schools had continued to benefit from water and sanitation interventions projects of the club.
Earlier, the immediate past President of the club, Mr. Idowu Afelogun, said the club had distinguished itself in the delivery of world-class projects to its adopted communities. The projects, he noted were mostly geared towards improving standard of education.
He said: “The club embarked on rehabilitation of a block of four classrooms in Ajuwon Senior Secondary School, Ajuwon, Ogun State. A 10-year-old dumpsite in the school was reclaimed and a Rotary Four-Way signpost was also presented to the same school. We donated an incubator to General Hospital, Ifako-Ijaiye, 300 school bags to Iju Primary School, Fagba, Lagos and also carried out polio eradication street awareness campaign. A ‘Kick Polio Away’ signboard was also erected at the Ifako-Ijaiye Primary Health Care Centre. N50, 000 was disbursed to 20 beneficiaries of our micro-credit scheme; vocational equipments was given to four beneficiaries trained by District Vocational Team and a visit to Old People’s Home.”
He listed other achievements of the clubs, which he said had distinguished it as the best in District 9110.
The Chairman, Planning Committee, Abiodun Oshinibosi, also called on the guests to partner with the club in fighting debilitating diseases, providing potable water, reducing mother and child mortality, improving education, promoting peace and empowering indigent members of the society.