THE PEST: RAPE!

THE PEST; RAPE
THE PEST; RAPE
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THE PEST: RAPE!

GRACE KANAYO

A pest is defined by the offline English dictionary as: a pestilence, a plague, an epidemic. To a layman, a pest is something not needed, a thing that destroys. To an agriculturist, a pest is any element or insect which ravages crops and causes death to the crops. And as much as we love to talk about beautiful things and relive certain moments, there is need for us to talk about disturbing issues too such as rape.

The issue of rape has become a rising and glamouring issue. It has taken its leverage on the fact that its normalcy has been accepted by the general public. It is now an everyday occurrence, devoid of fear and repercussion and finding solace among us.

We all know what a pest is but it is pertinent to point out here that the word “rape” is used in the metaphoric sense of it.

TO BEGIN

“Rape” has been defined by many authors and jurists and is even defined in the Criminal Code Act LFN Chapter 77 1990.

According to section 357 of the Criminal Code, ‘’rape is said to be done when a person has carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent, and if with her consent, by means of threat or intimidation’’.

In section 282 of the Penal Code, the crime is said to have occurred when ‘’a man has sexual intercourse with a woman, against her will, without consent, with consent obtained under duress. The issue of rape can be said to be as old as man himself. Take the story of Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, who was raped by a man named Shammah in the bible; also the rape case of Tamar, king David’s daughter. These women were left to face the shame of the act wrongly done to them; why? It wasn’t something that should be heard of or made open or brought to light so as to prevent stigmatization or stain on the family’s name.

Looking around us today, in this present time; it can be said that such is still in place. A child raped (be it male or female) is not allowed to voice it out; a lady raped is deemed to have brought it upon herself, a man raped is deemed to be weak. It seems for this issue there is always an excuse attached.

At this juncture, there’s need to study some very funny and heart-breaking responses given to rape issues.

LET’S STUDY THE RESPONSES GIVEN TO RAPE ISSUES.

THE CASE OF UWA:

Let’s study the most recent case of them all- the case of Uwa. Beautiful Uwa went to the church as she normally did to go and read, she arranged her books and the table and chair she made use of every other day, getting set to start her reading because once this lock-down is over and schools reopen, it is exam straight. Now, beautiful Uwa is so engrossed in what she was doing that she didn’t notice that she wasn’t alone anymore. She was struck on the head and raped inside the church. She was found and taken to the hospital; there she died.

When this case was brought to limelight, everyone castigated her and some called her ‘’careless’’ while some spoke from their well of stupidity and ignorance that she ‘’deserved’’ it, ‘’what was she doing there alone’’ some said. Are we to blame Uwa for believing that the world was still good and void of wickedness? That it wasn’t so safe being alone as a woman? That she should always look behind her cause danger lurks at every corner all because she is a woman? Should we blame her for being a victim of rape by someone who lacks self-control? Should we blame her for believing that the church was a safe haven for her?

THE CASE OF AISHA AND DANIEL:

Let’s also look at the case of Aisha, a seven year old child that hawks pepper for her mum and was lured to a primary school building and had her innocence taken away; she was blamed for being stupid and naive, and like some people said: “you no sharp at all.” Or do we talk about Daniel who went to “aunt’s” room when she called, only to be forced to perform manly duties that weren’t his at all.

ANYONE CAN BE RAPED.

It is important that we know now that anyone can be raped. A baby, a wife, a husband, a daughter, a son etc. I know you would be wondering; how can someone’s wife be raped? Or how can a man rape his wife? Let me give you an insight on how that can happen: a woman comes back from work, tired and stressed out and not even feeling herself. She prepares the meal her husband will eat when he gets back, bathe the kids and help them out with their assignments, gives them their meal since daddy returns late from work, she puts them to bed and sits waiting for her darling husband to come back from work.

While waiting she falls asleep, husband comes back acting up, the woman warms his meal and serves him, goes in to heat up his water and then goes to bed. The man finish bathing comes to bed and wants her to carry out her wifely duty in the bedroom not minding that she was very tired. Wife pleads with him to postpone it till the following day but Oga said he wants it now; and forces himself on her amidst her tiredness. He claims to be the man and should be satisfied as one. Merging this scenario with the definition of rape given under the criminal code, it can be said without any iota of doubt that rape has occurred. One major point any lawyer can defer is that the element of ‘consent’ is missing. The wife never consented to the act done. This is called Marital Rape.

ELEMENT OF RAPE

Lack of consent is the most crucial ingredient or element of rape cases. As regards the above, it has become a thing of concern for the international body. Still in many countries, marital rape remains outside the criminal law, and considered illegal but is widely tolerate.

Laws are rarely being enforced, due to reluctance of authorities to properly follow the crime and lack of public knowledge that sexual intercourse in marriage without consent is considered rape or illegal. It is still unclear whether marital rape is covered by ordinary rape laws but it may be covered by general statute prohibiting violence such as assault and battery. See cases: Kirchberg Feenstra 450 U.S 455(1981) R v R IN 1991, different views were given as to the issue of marital rape.

It is also important to note that rape is not gender-centred i.e. it cannot be said that a woman alone can be raped but it is always the female folk that falls victim to this ravaging pest.

 

OFFENSIVE EXCUSES FOR RAPE

Justice for rape
Justice for rape

As to defenses raised by defendants or accused, they always try to push the blame to someone else. The defendant can claim that the act was consensual; another defenses usually raised is insanity, in which the defense argues that his client was mentally ill or unstable as at the time of the act and he did not have the capacity to form criminal intent, control his behavior or acknowledge that his actions were unlawful.

 

JUSTICE FOR RAPE

A penalty as regarding rape differs depending on the degree of injury sustained by the victim. Rape can considered in the first or second degree sense, depending on the type of force used and whether it resulted in a serious bodily injury. The sentences given can range from a year to life imprisonment and in some cases death or castration. Section 358 provides imprisonment for life, with or without caning as punishment for rape.

Discussing the issue is one thing, providing a solution for it is another; it is important for the legislative body to review the definition of rape provided for in the criminal code. The present definition can be said to be archaic and needs upgrading. It should cover even the male folk as they are also becoming victims in this present time and age. A review of the criminal code will go a long way in addressing that issue and allowing the women have pepper spray legally to defend themselves.

 

LOOKOUTFIRST SAYS;

DO NOT HATE THE WRITER; HATE THE GAME AND STOP THE PLAYERS.

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