The story of the girl that was gang raped by 5 boys in ABSU made news both nationally and internationally years back. Her offence ..... She insulted one of the boys.
We live in a cruel world..but the truth is that the Nigerian society encourages rape (just like other ills we are experiencing today but I will stick to the topic at hand).
The issue of rape is something that has been with us but is always swept under the carpet for fear that the victim will be stigmatized. No one wants to listen to your side of the story (is there even a pleasant story to tell after the whole experience). All people know is that something 'shameful' has happened and should not be exposed to the world. If you insist you hear phrases like 'don't you want to get married'?
I remember when I was a lot younger, a friend of mine told me about how she was coming from school and behind her was this guy who wanted to date her and had been pestering her for a while. She was in the university and was about 17 at the time. She said immediately
more after the jump
she approached a certain area the young man quickened his pace, caught up with her and started dragging her to a deserted corner. On sensing what the guy was about to do, she immediately started screaming and shouted for help. Fortunately for her some women close bye heard her scream and immediately rushed to where she was. Naturally they asked what the problem was and the guy lied that she was his girlfriend and they were just 'playing' an allegation she promptly denied. Thankfully the women scolded them and ensured that my friend got home safely.
The following day her parents reported the incidence to the police in order to forestall any future 'ugly' occurrence and the first thing they asked her was 'Wetin you wear'?. She told them exactly what she wore ( she wore a pair of jeans trouser and a shirt whose hands were tiny straps with her boobs and tommy properly covered). She said the police men started laughing and made jest of her. They even went on to say she deserved it as her dressing 'called' the boy. They told her parents not to waste their time as nothing will come out of the case as any where they take the case to, their daughter will be blamed but, they should instead advice their daughter not to wear clothes that will 'Call' men. According to her, all this happened in the boy's presence.
Another friend of mine wasn't so lucky. We were also in school then. According to the last people that saw her she said she had not seen some of her friends in a while and she wanted to know how they were doing and to find out if they were OK. What she thought she was doing innocently ended up costing her, her life as she was raped to death by her 'friends'.
The strange thing is that when they were done with their useless act, they took her to the hospital. The nurse on sensing that the girl was dead delayed the guys till policemen came (she alerted her colleagues and they promptly called the police).
When the boys were being interrogated by the police , they confessed to raping her claiming they don't know what came over them. They confessed that she was a virgin and that she choked while they were raping her as they gauged her mouth.
She never dressed 'anyhow' or 'called' men with her dressing (in the alleged words of the policemen). I remember when we would tease her that her skirts should touch her toes as she was extremely conservative in her dressing. As a matter of fact the doctor after examining her body said she was a virgin (confirming what the guys said) at the time the incidence occurred.
Like I said earlier, rape is treated with so much levity in our society . Imagine being raped and the rapists decide to make a video of the whole incidence only for them to broadcast it round so as to 'humiliate' the girl. If they felt they would be punished for their actions they will never make and spread a video of it. Rape will even be the last thing on their mind. They feel nothing will come out of it as in most cases rapist are left to go unpunished (which may happen again because sadly the school authorities, policemen and even the chief security officer of the state are not really interested in bringing the culprits to book instead they are making excuses). When you go to report a rape case , the very first thing you are asked is 'wetin you wear'?. The next thing they do is trivialize the case and make it look like it was your fault.
I do not really encourage too much 'showy' when it comes to dressing as I feel modesty is key but hey I will 'NEVER' justify any woman being raped even if she walks around in panties. Nothing, absolutely nothing justifies raping a woman. My first friend was lucky, the second one wasn't so lucky.
The lady in the ABSU incidence is lucky to be alive, but the emotional trauma is too ugly to even be imagined.
The sad thing is that so many women are raped daily and most of them do not report the case for fear that they will be stigmatized. They will rather deal with the emotional (and sometimes physical) scar than report the case.
The bright side to this whole issue though is that it brought to the fore front the ugly issue of rape in our society. Some female bloggers have even taken it a step further by identifying with the lady with their revelation that they too were raped and even went as far as sharing their experience and how they dealt with it emotionally. I think it was a very brave and selfless move on their part as it has made other women who have been raped realize they are not alone .
Unfortunately, some people see nothing wrong with the act. Imagine someone saying if the ABSU girl that was raped recently did not use her mouth anyhow, she would not have been raped!. Does that justify their action? Absolutely not. I sincerely hope the guys are caught and dealt with.
I also hope the girl can heal emotionally.
This again raises the issue of the seemingly lack of respect for women in our society. The fact that some guys raped a woman because she insulted their friend and the authorities are treating it with so much levity is really disheartening and it says a lot about the importance placed on women by our society. Silly excuses like 'I don't know what came over me', 'it's her outfit' or the latest one 'she insulted me' should not be entertained as RAPE is RAPE no matter the reason.