Over the past few days, there’s been recurring news on social media concerning rape which has raised a lot of conversation around the subject. This week started with the brutal rape and murder of a level 100 Nigerian student,Vera Uwaila Omozuwa. Uwa was studying in her local church where she was attacked, raped and brutally murdered in cold blood. Then other stories of rape cases started to flood social media and as usual, the rage began.
But wait, is this the first time the issues of rape has been highlighted? Not too long ago, a nurse was gang raped and murdered in a town in Ghana and till date there’s not been any form of justice for her and her family. These issues always pop up and per usual of online conversations, they die off and even the justice for these victims die off too.
However, there’s a serious trend of communication with regards to issues of rape we need to address. Anytime an issue of rape is reported, there are people especially men, who like to ‘reason’ with rapists. Excuses like,
“What was she wearing?”,”Why was she alone?”, “Did she seduce him?”, Is she even telling the truth?” among others pop up.
Why is it so easy to ask and blame the victim but difficult to bring justice to victims.
When the Quran ( surah Nur 30-31) has asked men to lower their gaze first before the women were told to lower their gaze and cover up.Why don’t you take responsibility for yourselves and do as you are told. LOWER YOUR GAZE.
Rape is rape. It doesn’t matter what a victim was wearing or where they were. Often times, the first question people ask when a rape issue comes up is what the victim was wearing. If dress code really matters, why are babies and toddlers defiled? How attractive is the dressing of a toddler?
This address is to our menfolk. Our fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews, husbands, friends. You may not fully understand what women who are raped go through. You will never understand how rape leaves a woman traumatised for life. You will never understand how scared a woman gets when she’s alone because of the fear of rape. You will never understand how the whole discussion on rape triggers the pain and hurt of victims and women in general. You will never understand how it is to live one’s life in constant fear of being raped and even murdered.
I thought men are instructed to protect women!
Rape is dehumanising. Rape traumatizes. Rape is criminal.
This is not the time to use the ‘not all men rape” rhetoric. We know that already. But it is men who rape women/girls. You may not be a rapist but you might know one. You might have made jokes about rape, you might have even laughed about a friend of yours who boasted of raping their girlfriend/wife. You have questioned rape victims and in a way tried to make sense with the ‘rapists’. When issues of rape comes up, don’t be too quick to victim blame. Stay quiet and listen to women talk about their experience. Listen and ask yourself how best you can help bring justice to the women around you.
Rape is a very sensitive topic to start with, don’t add to the pain of victims with your victim blaming and unnecessary questioning.
You really want to end rape? Then look out for the women and girls around you. Listen to them. Believe them. Condemn rapists and join in the charge to seek justice for victims.
Rape victims are already living their lives in constant fear, pain and hurt. Don’t add to their pain by being insensitive.Women are triggered by these happenings and are on the high alert. Make it easy for us, be our allies and lets fight these Rapists.