Rape, rape and more stories about rape. Yes, the sad story is that it has been with us for so long. Memories of a heart in tears, memories of a heart in disarray! Not the usual emotional tales of kisses, hugs and poetic vibes,
Perhaps, what comes to mind here is the poem, The Rape of the Lock, written by Alexander Pope, a social satire. Interestingly, it beams a searchlight into human weaknesses, follies, foibles, and absurdities, specifically on the life of the aristocratic ladies of the eighteenth century.
Fast forward the emotional tape to the 21st century and you would see that things have indeed changed in so many ways. While some people strive towards perfection in the emotional terrain, others are crude in their emotional attitude; they just want to grab and grab everything, those freely given and those that must be forcefully taken away.
Unfortunately, the church has been on the emotional cross in the past few weeks. First, it was Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of The COZA church and beautiful Busola Dakolo. It happened a long, long time ago, according to the story. Unfortunately, the pain never heals, it doesn’t matter how long it happened. The man at the centre of the emotional storm has denied and it is left for those gifted with unravelling ‘the emotional truth to decode whether it happened or not.
Just while the emotional corridor was grappling with this tearful emotional story and the effect on the people around them and rape saga breaks. This time around, it is another member of the church claiming that Pastor T.B Joshua raped her. She claimed to have been raped over and over in The Synagogue.
Another emotional scoop, and tongues began to wag in different directions again. A statement saying the woman is not mentally stable comes in to douse the tension.
Love is a process and it requires affection and a caring heart. Unfortunately, things are falling apart and the emotional centre no longer holds.
Intimacy, affection and all the usual emotional ‘ceremonies are missing in action. That takes us to the emotional tide, arguments and counter arguments about rape.” Who done it? Where, how and why? Interestingly, it is usually very difficult to get down to unravel the rape mystery; someone, somewhere is hiding some information and you may or never get to the root of the rape matter. Blackmail also is an accomplished something and the more you look, the less you see.
Africa has the highest prevalence rate of child sexual abuse around 34.4 per cent. Between 2012 and 2013, about 30 per cent of women in Nigeria experienced one form of domestic violence or another
Findings from a national survey carried out in 2014 on violence against children in Nigeria confirmed one in four females reported experiencing sexual violence in childhood, with approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that 24.8% of females’ ages 18 to 24 years experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18 of which 5.0% sought help, with only 3.5% receiving any services.
There are so many cases that comes to mind here. One of such is Imade who was raped at seven years old by her teacher after school.
“He [told] me I was a smart and beautiful girl and gave me little sums of money,” says Imade, now 24. One day, he raped her.
Imade told her mother, who complained to the school. “They fired him, but that was all,” she says.
The teacher wasn’t prosecuted despite being referred to the police. But in Nigeria, this is by no means rare.
The country has an extremely low conviction rate for rape and sexual abuse, despite articles in recent years.
A human rights lawyer who has been handling sexual assault cases for over a decade, says “cases are not effective enough … because some [instances of] rape are not recognised in the eyes of law. Sometimes, after medical examination [when] we find no signs of force or bruising, the law does not recognise that as rape.”
But the shortcomings in Nigeria’s legal system – where the burden to prove rape or abuse often lies in evidence of it also being a violent attack – are not the only challenges facing survivors. Nigeria, home to an estimated 170 million people, has just a handful of facilities dedicated to the care and support of survivors. [THE NATION]