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Preponderance Of Rape And Fate Of The Girl-Child
Published Mar 23, 2023 IN Editorial,
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NIGERIA certainly faces a bleak future if the endemic situation of rape in the country is not properly and urgently addressed. Without doubt, the increasing and disturbing frequency of incidence of rape, particularly in Nigeria, calls for concern among all stakeholders. 

Rape has, indeed, remained a knotty issue with a few victims and survivors willing to report their ordeal because of the myriad societal perception and challenges in pursuing the case to a logical end, thus prompting others to engage in the evil act in the feeling that nothing would be done to them. 

Basically, while rape is the act of sexual assault against a person, particularly a female, it is essentially a violation of the most demeaning kind that puts permanent scars on the psychs of victims and no society would condone rape and rapists, which, regrettably, have become serious social challenge in the country. 

The menace of rape has become a serious epidemic not just in Nigeria but globally where it has become a daily occurrence as most irresponsible men without sexual control unduly take advantage of their masculinity to sexually abuse the weaker sex-female gender regardless of their age without their consent; thus, there is a dire need to address this with a view to curbing the scourge of rape, if not totally eliminating it. Despite the growing public outcry over the worrisome dimension it has assumed, there appears to be no end to this social malady and horrendous misdemeanor , which has now crept into the supposed house of God- the Church. 

It is most worrisome considering the fact that the Federal Government seems not to pay serious attention to the rising incidence of rape. In schools, hospital wards, places of worship, corporate and government offices and playgrounds, no place is too sacred for these predators and merchants of destruction, who are now unabashedly bent on destroying young girls who have become easy prey to the devilish acts in their naïve and helpless situation. 

Unfortunately, there is growing public concern that more clerics, including pastors, are increasingly getting involved in these dangerous escapades; because when a pastor rapes somebody who comes for healing and deliverance in his church, it ultimately sends a wrong signal about the mission of the church and the unbecoming actions of its coordinators. When such anomalies begin to take place in the house of God, and worse still become frequent, it paints a tragic picture to the adherents and non-adherents alike. 

It is disheartening to observe that nowhere appears to be safe any more for women and the girl-child as rapists and paedophiles swarm the streets; apparently looking for whom to devour. We are convinced that victims’ failure to report to the appropriate authorities may have significantly fuelled the culture of impunity on the part of perpetrators who see the victims as naïve and hapless. 

In all of these, the judiciary appears not to have lived up to its billing as the last hope for the common man, as it lays legal and bureaucratic barricades that tend to discourage the victims from pursuing their cases. The courts must be more proactive and stringent in applying sanctions, as some of the verdicts, for the few that have been successfully prosecuted, were totally ridiculous and not commensurate with the level of the crime committed. 

On the other hand, the police should, as a matter of fact, readily donate phone lines with free toll for victims of rape, while hospitals and the legal professions like Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) should be ready to offer pro bono services to the victims without conditions, at all time. 

We, particularly, call on the relevant authorities to devise effective measures and strategies to checkmate the growing menace of rape across the country. Besides training, we advocate diligent prosecution , swift and exemplary sanctions would serve as a deterrent and certainly send a strong signal to the perpetrators to desist from such demonic tendencies, while the media remains a veritable platform in a sustained manner to curb these wanton acts of evil men and provide a safe environment for the girl- child to pursue her God –given endeavor without fear and hindrance. 

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