You have probably seen several photos of rape victims online with a blackened strip of color spread over their eye region to prevent them from the post-rape stereotype that comes with our dangerous addiction to blaming rape victims. What exactly is the African Narrative on rape that seems to ignore the fact that only damaged individuals will willingly assault a fellow human being in a bid to gain sexual satisfaction?
Some might even argue that spousal rape is not rape but a man enjoying his rights even against the wishes and desires of his wife. Even in our nation, Nigeria, Section 282 of the Penal Code and section 357 of the Criminal Code exempts perpetrators of spousal rape from punishment. Under Nigerian Law in sections 357 of the Criminal Code and 282 of the Penal Code, a man can’t be charged with spousal rape.
Why do you think that I am boldly saying NO to rape? Simple! I am a rape victim!
Now, I have gotten your interest. This is my story.
I was in love. I was also fifteen. He was eighteen. Handsome, great charisma. etc. He swept me off my feet. In as much as I was in love cum infatuation, I still remained true to the thoughts of my mother on premarital sex. She had repeatedly told me that if a man touches me, I become pregnant instantly. I believed her. She also warned me that if get pregnant she will lead the team that will cut off my two legs and feed my hands to the dogs. I was in love and in my blindness, I trusted my crush absolutely. Little did I know that he was not to be trusted. Then one beautiful evening, he asked me with his beautiful voice to walk him to his room. I did! He locked the door, smartly slid the key into his pocket and looked at me in a manner never seen before. Was it desire? Moments later, I was saying NO! I asked, begged and screamed. There was no mercy! Then came the blood spurt! He stopped. He calmly apologized.
I was already shaken, beaten, debased and could only ask him to open the door. My love interest was no longer the beautiful boy I had known earlier. I just wanted to hurry home and wash away the shame.
It has been seventeen years. Now, you know, so do not expect me to justify rape for any reason. Am I ashamed to share this story? No. If anyone should be ashamed, it is that person that feels I should not share. If anyone should be ashamed, it is that person that wishes to pass judgement. That is my story. I have dealt with the pain and I have moved on. Rape is Rape! No justification can ever score for me.
In the past week, a popular Nigerian comedian posted a joke on Facebook that garnered so much criticism across social media platforms. The good news is that he apologized. The bad news is that prior to him deleting the sad joke and making the decision to apologize, over 5,000 individuals clicked the “like” button as captured on the screen shot that equally went viral. Could it be that these individuals are blessed with a robust sense of humor that is alien to mere mortals that found the joke distasteful? Could it just be the inevitable narrative about jokes that have cascaded the cause of time?
Why are rape victims readily labelled and held responsible for the act that everyone agree that they are the victims? Best of all, why do most rape victims refuse to come out and speak against the despicable act of violence unleashed upon them. I have heard such absurd stories that posits that if a rape victim reaches orgasm in the cause of this denigration that it can no longer be qualified as rape. Rape is not about wanting or love or passion, it is about control. The social implication of rape and the unending justification of vile offenders outweigh the clinical implications. What will people say? This question erodes the victim of the right to stand up and speak against the offender. It is a sad reality and I dare say that the only way to disrupt this violent trend is to stand up, damn the consequence and lend your voice to speak up against evil.
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