By Deborah Phillips
Am sorry Mummy but he said he was going to kill me if I tell anyone.
That was Gift, a 9 years old girl who was repeatedly raped by the son
of her mother’s friend who had come to live with them.
Gift was lucky to have come out alive to tell her story but girls like little Khadijat, Omozuwa, Barakat Bello and many others could not live to tell their stories.
What a wicked world! The rape of a lady is not
just the abuse of her body and sexuality; it is the abuse of her mind and spirit which halts her mindset, poisons her soul and alters her future.
For some victims, it is the complete lockdown of their
existence and shutdown of glorious ambitions which eventually drives
them to a premature end.
Recently, Rape is everywhere and it is gradually becoming an everyday
phenomenon which has resulted to an epidemic we must collectively
Rape is a heinous crime that every culture and society frowns
Some countries like Cuba and Saudi Arabia even equate it to that
of murder and the same punishment meted to the culprits. Many rapes
are facilitated by drugs, alcohol and other substances and the victims
can be incapacitated and thus unable to consent because of ingestion
of drugs or alcohol.
Rape victims suffer physical and mental trauma
which may include humiliation, embarrassment, and stigmatization which
sometimes leads to depression and eventually death.
It is very unfortunate that rape has become the order of the day and
most of the culprits are still walking as free men on the streets.
daughters are no longer safe at home just like the case of Barakat,
they are not safe at places of worship just like the case of Omozuwa
and they are not safe to walk freely on the streets just like the case
According to the FBI Director Robert Mueller, rape is the
penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body
part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person,
without the consent of the victim. In essence, this definition posits
that both sexes can be at the risk of being raped though the female is
more vulnerable especially the minors.
The entire human race needs a place they can call a safe haven and
this can only be gotten through our collective efforts. Our government
must rise up to our defence by also equating the punishment for rape
to that of murder like that of other countries.
The law enforcement agents have a responsibility to bring every perpetrator to book no matter their position or how influential the person might be.
The society also has to stop stigmatizing the victims as this might prevent so many of them from speaking out. Parents have the greater responsibility of protecting their children by encouraging them to
speak out and most importantly, to be careful and watchful.
Let’s report any suspicious persons or actions especially in this lockdown.
•Deborah Phillips, wrote in from the Department of Mass Communication,
Bayero University, Kano