Honestly speaking, like many Nigerians, I have been unfortunately unconcerned by the repugnance and malicious nature of rape not only in Africa but in the world. But a trip to Google has made me ashamed my benightedness. I have therefore decided to lend my voice to the multitudes of Africans both those who have and have not been victims of this cancer called rape. I decided to carry out my research lest I become a fool on such an importunate issue.
Once again I was let down by Nigeria’s inability to keep records after over 50 years of independence. Though there are many stories on record, accurate figures and statistics on rape in Nigeria are not only scarce and unavailable but also unreliable. So you will forgive me for a lack of bogus availability of figures on rape in Nigeria. However this does not belittle the severity of rape in Nigeria.
There has however, been various subtle media and dailies reports on rape cases with headlines such as, “4 men gang-rape a 15-year-old to a coma, 14-year-old boy rapes girl to death, 20-year-old boy brutally rapes a 19 year old girl, a 27-year-old man rapes his mother, 15-year-old boy rapes three kids; including 10-month-old baby”, and then there is the infamous rape and murder of Cynthia Osokogwu by friends she met on Facebook that happened in 2012. The list is unfortunately endless. The Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, an NGO, reported that in 2012, no less than 1,200 girls were raped in Rivers State. The Lagos State Police Command has revealed that there were 678 recorded cases of rape in the state also in 2012. The statistics by the police shows that the number of rape cases was reported between March 2012 and March 2013.
These may appear to you just as numbers on a page, but imagine knowing or being one of the people that make up this number then you will realize how serious this is. Rape is not an uncommon problem. Did you know that around the world;
One in four women aged 18-24 has been or will be raped or sexually assaulted.
It is false that only women are the victim of sexual assault. Approximately one in six boys is sexually abused before age 16.
Most Rapes are not planned─ 58% to 71% of rapes are planned.
Most victims know their attacker─ 78% of victims know their attacker.
In many countries having sex with a woman who is drunk is considered rape.
Non-consensual sex is rape. It does not matter what relationship the victim has with the attacker. Wives can indeed be raped by their husbands.
Rape is an act of violence. No woman asks to be raped. It does not matter how she dresses or acts, she is not asking to be raped. Rape is a life-threatening situation and the number one goal for a person in that situation is to stay alive. Also the Devil doesn’t force anyone to rape anyone, control your libido!
There are long lasting effects of rape, including:
flashbacks, nightmares, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, feeling alienated from the world, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, inability to engage in relationships with members of the opposite sex, pregnancy and death
Pregnancy is by far one of the most devastating and long lasting effect of rape because another life has been created by such a heinous act. I will not justify some people by arguing whether or not such a child should be aborted. I believe it should be left solely to the victim and the family.
In 1982, Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, reported that the risk of pregnancy from a rape is the same as the risk of pregnancy from a consensual sexual encounter, 2–4%.
A 1996 longitudinal study in the United States of over 4,000 women followed for three years found that the national rape related pregnancy rate was 5.0% per rape among victims aged 12–45 year, producing over 32,000 pregnancies nationally among women from rape each year.
In 1991, a study in a maternity hospital in Lima found that 90% of new mothers aged 12–16 had become pregnant from being raped, the majority by their fathers, step-fathers or other close relatives.
An organization for teenage mothers in Costa Rica reported that 95% of its clients under the age of 15 had been victims of incest.
A study of adolescents in Ethiopia found that among those who reported being raped, 17% became pregnant after the rape, a figure which is similar to the 15–18% reported by rape crisis centers in Mexico.
Any pregnancy resulting from an encounter with a stranger carries a high risk of pre-eclampsia, the condition in which hypertension arises in pregnancy in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine. (To be continued)