Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeCrimeNo, Don't say "No to Rape".

No, Don’t say “No to Rape”.

By U.K Umar.

So far, I have been blessed with three awesome daughters. As a young father whose means of livelihood is hinged on knowing of or writing on activities of humans including rape and abuse of women and female children in different ways, you should be able to feel the weight of my fears each time I hear of rape cases. But even before I was a father, I have been an eldest brother to five beautiful girls, some of them are mothers now.

Since the reports of recent cases of rape and murder of rape victims broke, a lot of people have been weighing in according to how their understanding and in most cases, emotions direct.
There are those who have tried to explain the “why” of rape. The reasons go from reasonable to damn stupid! But hey, it’s okay.
There are those, especially women, who in their attempt to make a case, have taken steps far away from sense by saying things like ‘All men are rapists’. For I don’t know how else they mean when they say no man should dispute the earlier assertion with ‘not all men’. Well, the error in that needs no pointing out and any attempt to argue that would amount to needless distraction from the main issue. So if it helps them sleep at night, by all means, they can have it so.

Again, there are the census officers who have been monitoring walls of their male friends who haven’t said anything concerning the trending rape issues. These group have gone ahead to imply that silence (on social media) from such male friends is tacit support or apparent guilt! Really? I’ll say no more on this.
Then of course, there are the ‘trendsters’ who have been very vocal with the “Say No To Rape” campaign. I respect the genuine concern of this group. They, like any other normal human being want an end to this irrational, dehumanising behaviour of rape in our homes. I mean who in his right senses wouldn’t say “No” to rape?
But here is my reservation with the campaign and the people it is targeted at. It is not clearly known who the campaign is addressing and so it sounds vague and hollow.

Are we asking a determined rapist, a serial rapist and or a potential rapist to say no to the act? Doest it make sense? A rapist, even one with the faintest inclination towards rape has lost or closed the faculties that makes him see the wrong in the act. So it amounts to sheer waste of valuable time singing “Say No To Rape” to such wastes.
In my opinion, we should promote the campaign that will say NO to Rapists! So “Say No To Rapists”.

In our communities there are people who have been caught in the act. Some have made it to prison and are out while many more are yet to be reported even though they are known to and are very close to their victims. Many women and young girls are bearers of scars of abuse and molestation. To some, they’d rather just let it pass than speak out. Others are constrained by fear of consequences of speaking out. Either way, many rapists get away because of the prevailing atmosphere of shame or fear of being known as victims of rape or abuse.

What our campaigns should aim at is lifting the burden of shame and fear off the victim and dumping all of it and more on the perpetrator. This is where “Say No To Rapists” will be effective.
As pointed out earlier, once a rapist is identified, he should be rejected by all and all. Religious houses must stop them from coming near, all employers must reject them. They should be barred from all possible appointments or election for life! All families must severe ties with them- even if they were married to their daughter such marriage should end without further argument. The society within which they lived and committed the heinous crime must visit the books of old but effective custom of ostracism – banish them from amongst you.

All these should be backed by law. In this direction, efforts should be made to get our elected representatives to make sure such a law comes into effect as a matter of public urgency.
I am aware that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons NAPTIP with the push of some NGOs now have in place a “Sex Offenders Register” dedicated to naming and shaming all shades of sex offenders. This can serve as a foundation to build on.

Let’s make that register more accessible to the public. Make it an App that people can have easily. Like I can just for the fun of it say let me check out the maggots among us and with a couple clicks, I am treated to Ward by ward, Local government by LG and State by State clear faces and details of them all.
With this, there will be more fear on the part of the perpetrator than would be on the victim.

We can’t have a society that is structured to easily and flimsily blame the victim of rape and expect “Say No To Rape” to work. No, we must say No to rapists in the most NO of ways to such an extent that even if we say ‘Yes to Rape’ there would be no rapist in sight.

U.K. Umar is a Journalist.
He writes from Abuja
[email protected]

This article does not represent the opinion of NewsFocus Media but that of the writer.

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