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Time to expedite action against sexual violence

20th Jul, 2020 | By Stella Ojeme | ||

In recent time, the Nigerian media have been awash with disheartening stories of rape and various forms of sexual abuse against women and girls. Even defenseless minors such as boys also constitute major victims. There are sickening tales of fathers who rape their own daughters, lecturers harassing female students, young men gang-raping teenage girls, minors being sexually abused by older men, armed robbers gang-raping innocent women during robbery attacks as well as killer herdsmen raping women on their farmlands. The stories are seemingly endless and horrific.

Girls of different religious, ethnic and age groups suffer different levels of sexual abuse in their lifetime. Sadly, these sexual abuses most times come chiefly from men who are supposed to protect and defend them. Women, teenage girls and children (both sexes) have currently joined the list of world's endangered species. Victims of rape and sexual abuse are usually left shattered, battered, wounded and humiliated. Sexual intercourse in every decent society is culturally and ethically controlled as there are rules applicable for engaging in decent, acceptable sexual intercourse. But the story is different today.

The society is witnessing a disconnect; people no longer adhere to social norms and moral standards---a situation which invariably has hyped the incidence of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The society is being ravaged by moral decadence; some individuals have lost hold of good conscience and descended into the abhorrent abyss of animalistic nature. Rape is defined as forcible carnal knowledge of someone without his/her consent by threatening the person or using force. Jeno Mary, a Senior Lecturer at University of Jos (UNIJOS), defined sexual harassment as "unsolicited advance on a helpless and unwilling individual."

It occurs when there is power relationship; that is, a superior person who uses his/her position to intimidate his/her helpless victim for sexual intercourse. It is disheartening that this is happening in the present civilized world. Rape is a serious crime against humanity. It is man's inhumanity to man and therefore all must rise to put a halt to this dastardly act. Curbing this menace that has eroded our societal virtues and value system is a duty every good-spirited individual must embrace. Parents have a lot to do in this regard. Sex education should be mandatory for every child of school age; the call from various quarters to integrate this into the school curriculum is in tandem with government quest to stamp out this evil from our midst. It is a foremost step to achieving a saner society, and children should be aware of their sexuality as this would keep them vigilant.

Parents and guardians should ensure adequate protection for their wards. They should keep close social relationship with their children as well as guide and control what they are exposed to on the internet and media. Government and lawmakers have major roles to play in protecting the fundamental rights of the child and must institute stiffer penalties/punishment for sexual abuse cases. Victims should be adequately protected and rehabilitated. This would not only give them some forms of solace but offer them the confidence to speak up. The country has battled and defeated several challenges in its history including but not limited to a civil war, cholera, river blindness, Ebola, recession, polio, we are indeed well able to give rape a final knockout punch.

News Update

Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, noted this last week when FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, presented the FCT 2021 National Priority Capital Budget to the Committee.

The UN envoy who gave the commendation when he led a team on a courtesy visit to FCTA, said his organization will continue to support FCTA in its fight to ensure that the virus is kept in check.

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners have bestowed the Envoy Extraordinary award on the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, for her meritorious service to the institute in particular and the nation at large.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has stressed the need to deploy the instrumentality of the capital market to revive the nation's economy, given the negative impact of Covid-19 and #EndSars protests on the country.


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