#Stretch: Are we Culturing A Rape Generation? – @Omotoola Fawunmi

Is ours gradually turning into a rapegeneration or what exactly? Recently it was in the news that a Fuji ‘star’ allegedly raped a young woman and the police exonerates him for doing so. Report has it that he went on to release a CD using the face of the victim. How else do you explain adding insult to injury? Not too long ago, a Divisional Police Officer allegedly raped a women held in custody and all we heard was that he was granted bail thereafter. Let me also quickly bring to fore the case of the Russian politician who asked his aides to rape a Female journalist for simply doing her job.
It’s frightening that recently, more women and young girls get assaulted and violated, not by strangers or random robbers, but by friends, family members and folks they so trust.
I am not going to attempt a definition of the word rape; I leave that to the grammarians.
For me, I see rape, violation and abuse (verbal and physical) through the same lens. An attempt to forcefully take undue advantage of something that belongs to another, deploying every means possible to gain anticipated pleasure. Like a hunter, once his chase is satisfied with the pleasure of a kill, he leaves the animal to die. Such is the torment of rape. The animal never recovers from the pain and agony. Never!
Why and how have we raised and cultured, this RAPE Generation?
Is there something in our food that has hindered our men’s sense of reasoning, causing them to view girls and women as objects of pleasure, whether they are willing or not? Is there something they are watching perhaps on terrestrial TV or Cable TV that has increased the demand for instant gratification of sex? How do you explain a male friends raping a female friends; or in some cases, attempting to violate a former girlfriend?
Has it become so bad that fathers now view their daughters as objects of sexual pleasure, too? It is sickening. The newspapers are filled with horror stories of rape by uncles, fathers, cousins and guardians and all we do is flip through the papers, shake our heads pitying the victims, and then we move on with our lives.
I have been conversing on the telephone with a 19year old girl, who claims her father has been sleeping with her, and by thatI don’t mean laying side by side on the same bed,I mean having intercourse with her since she was 11. This is apart from violations by uncles and cousins long before she was 7. She has had several abortions and now lives in a perpetual state of guilt because she feels she must have brought all these upon herself. With a self esteem at an all time low, she has taken to drinking and smoking as an escape. She explained that the said father is actually now a pastor and minister of the gospel residing in another African country. I am wondering, just what he will teach on adultery, fornication and incest. Selah!
I was born a girl, I have two biological sisters and several adopted sisters both offline and online who share a common bond of womanhood. To everyone RAPE brings shudders and memories of violation and thoughts of forceful domination. Some victims never fully recover. I have heard some people justify the raping of a prostitute. I say even if she’s a prostitute, she should have the right to choose her client and earn her income. Why rape her? What happened to our sense of reasoning and power of choice, which differentiates us from instinctive animals, unable to make informed decisions?
I attended a federal government college, female only which was a boarding secondary school, several kilometers away from home. We had male teachers, male cooks, male gardeners, male school bus drivers and male non-teaching staffs, yet in my own time, no record of rape or attempted rape was reported. I could walk around the school premises worrying more about snakes and mosquitoes biting me than wondering if a male pedophile was lurking in the corner of the trees to rape me. I didn’t need pepper sprays.
Today, I fear for the girls who walk the streets, from one JAMB lesson to another, from an auditioning to another, going from one movie shoot to another in search of daily bread. The number of rape cases reported in the print media in the last 3years was estimated to be about 3800, that is an average of how many per year? Please do the maths!
As a brilliant and inquisitive girl at 7, I took long evening strolls within the Okota neighborhood in Lagos, checking on my friends and catching up on gists after school. Not once did I fear that I could be raped or violated while in transit. The one whom I feared was an older neighbor in his 20’s at the time. He looked lustfully at me.. I have since heard several cases of such violations from other female friends and young girls we mentor. These things are deep and personal.
From my little experience, aint allowing any uncle whatsoever lap my children.
Before we gloss over it and hope it does not happen to us or someone close to us, here are a few of my suggestions for girls and women, pending the time we get a realistic solution and commensurate punishment for female violators and rapists.
1.This might be a good time to buy pepper spray and have it in various sizes close enough to use. These men are strong and your might may not be able to match theirs.
1.Be vigilant of prolonged hugging of ‘uncles’ brothers and what have you, especially if you are heavy up there. A simple handshake or side hug, would do just fine.
1.Parents, this might be a good time to enroll your girls for self defense classes using any of the martial arts. My friend, a brilliant female Taekwondo black belt once escaped such violators only because of these skills. We would need training centers for these across the nation. I suggest that schools should start training pupils in this regard; seriously we can’t keep taking chances. I am counting on martial arts coaches to assist us on these.
1.We would need a non judgmental support network to assist rape victims, exhale, recover and heal up, psychologically, physically and otherwise. In my opinion, the police have not successfully convinced us that rape cases will be treated with the urgency and discreteness it requires. That is why many cases go unreported. Can we have an well established think tank set up to that effect?
I hope you can also share practical ways via which women and girls can cope and defend themselves against the RAPE Generation.
Tweet me your solutions at @omotoola I look forward to connecting with you.
Omotola Fawunmiis aManaging PartneratSTRETCH ConsultingandDevelopment Limited. She’s@omotoola on Twitter. omotola@stretchconsulting.com.ng


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