Rape has recently become one of the most trending crimes in the country. The reasons for the increasing number of rape cases daily can be attributed to a lot of factors – which we will be dissecting in this article. Before we proceed, let’s get to understand what rape really is, and how it is a crime.
According to Wikipedia, Rape is a type of sexual assault usually sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that persons’ consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability, or is below the legal age of consent. The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.
Rape does not only happens to young school children, sometimes even the aged and elderly get raped, but children are more prompt because they are weaker, ignorant, and naive. Rape is not gender-based – anyone unfortunate enough can be a victim. Despite the fact that this article centers on the young school children, the reasons for the increasing number of rape cases listed below can also apply to other age brackets.
Though it has been in existent for a very long time, rape cases are now on the rise, and why is that? It could be because of the lockdown, you know as they say:
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”
A lot of crimes are on the rise because of the current lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and why should rape be excluded?
Another reason could be the victim’s boldness to speak up. Over the years, victims of sexual assault tend to keep it to themselves because of fear, favor, and most times stigmatization – this practice is more in rural and developing nations, and Nigeria happens to be just one of them.
When a victim speaks up, and the perpetrators get their fair share of punishment in accordance with the law, other victims would find the confidence they need to also report. But when the victims do not speak up or are silent, the rapists would grow the ‘balls’ to continue their wicked agenda.
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Poor parenting and lack of proper sex education can also lead to rape. When minors or school children do not know the dos and don’ts about their sexual life, the places they should go and not, and all those vital information parents and teachers are supposed to pass on to prevent the children from falling victims, they would likely fall a victim. An example of this is the story of Jennifer (#JusticeForJennifer), a teenage girl that was ganged raped some weeks ago when she went to her boyfriend’s place in Kaduna. If only she knew that it was not proper to go to such a place alone or never to go at all, it could have been prevented.
Adolescent boys also have an urge to explore. A skewed sex ratio, lack of accessibility, and negligible interaction with people of the opposite sex play havoc on impressionable minds fed with easy access to porn. Also, the profanity of using vulgar lyrics in songs needs to be curbed.
The reasons for rape cannot be overemphasized, but short dresses have also been a reason some rapists claimed to lured the desire. But you wonder are women clad in long dresses and even trousers not raped? We have instances where men sexually abuse animals. Should we clothe animals too? Another oft-cited reason is makeup. Rapists allege that girls apply heavy makeup especially lipstick to lure men. This is indeed ridiculous! Let’s look at the case of Uwa (#JusticeForUwa), a University of Benin (UNIBEN) student that was raped and killed in a church. A church is a place where to expect a great deal of decency in terms of people’s dresses and attires. But still, it happened right there.
Poverty has been a major factor for most crimes, including rape. Children from poor backgrounds tend to hawk the streets, go into the depth of ghettos to make ends meet. Such children often fall victim to rape.
Alcohol and drugs are also key contributors to rapes. People who are drunk tend to do a lot of crazy things. Rape just happens to be one of them.
And sadly the rape laws in a society or country can also greatly influence its statistics. In a country where there is a very severe punishment for rape, the number of rape cases will be less, but the opposite will happen when the perpetrators get lesser punishments or go scot-free. In Nigeria, it’s obvious the laws are not severe, and that’s why the cases keep increasing.
And the list goes on and on… There are a lot of reasons that increase the number of rape cases, most especially against school children, but there’s no reason that is good enough for a person to rape another. Rape is bad, and it should be condemned.
Rape does not only come with physical pains and injuries, it equally affects the victim’s mental health, most times, it also becomes an everlasting scar. It should not be tolerated or overlooked.
The society or country should set severe punishments that would discourage potential rapists. Education, gender sensitization, and legal awareness are also indispensable to control rapes. Parents, teachers, and the community should play their part. The school children, minors, and potential victims (which we all are) should dress decently, obey instructions from their parents and teachers and most especially avoid potential rape venues.
Recommended: How to Avoid Being Raped on Campus
One last thing: let’s keep talking, remembering, advocating and trending the hashtag stories of the rape victims below and all others you know out there till they get justice:
Do you part!