The biggest enabler of rape & sexual violence in our communities is silence. Silence promoted by culture, religion & family. Rape is all around us. Fathers raping daughters, uncles raping nieces and so on.
Of course the rape of house girls is now almost an everyday occurrence. Rape in places of worship is also quite common these days. But “touching my anointed” is also a thing, so, silence. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve read so many stories of rape. Sexual violence is a culture in Nigeria.
But a personal story came back to me last week. I met an old school mate. A rapist. Then realised, the scale of the problem.
I was 13/14 in SS2, and we’d just finished promotion exams. Most students went home, and some stayed to chill with boo/bae. At 8pm, one of our guys invited his girlfriend to the classroom block, which is out of bounds for girls at night. They got busy. Now it wasn’t rare for senior boys to bring heir girl-friends over; Very common in the post-exam lull.
So the girl wasn’t afraid. After our guy was done, he opened the mini-store room they were getting frisky in, to his guys to come “take turns”. The school had emptied out, so no one could hear her screams.
In the end, 11 boys (aged 14-17) raped that poor girl. When we returned to school, a few of the boys were quietly expelled. The girl was publicly expelled for “sexual immorality”
Some of the boys’ parents were rich. They were quietly withdrawn. No charges. All the boys restarted life in new schools. The girl – no school in the area would take her. She was sent somewhere far away.
Some of those boys are here on social media, free, still unpunished for the crime they committed. Because they are boys.
Those boys got away with rape, and they’ll likely continue as men, because our society enables men to do as they please. We may not be able to fix society. Or people. But we can be a voice to the women who have no voices, who have endured rape.
It’s very important we break the silence. To get justice and reduce the culture of rape, we must open the lid on the problem.
Rape exists. Let’s stop shaming the victims. Let’s speak up for survivors. If you can, please volunteer with STAND TO END RAPE.
Volunteer –> HERE