One of the biggest problems in Nigeria is tradition. The Nigerian society is male chauvinistic. Thus, most crimes committed by men, especially rape, is registered to many as a sign of male dominance.
A popular Nigerian phrase used when men make mistakes “leave him, he’s a man” is the reason why rape continues to flourish like a palm tree rooted close to the rivers. Women enter relationships broken and laden with emotional baggage because the society finds every excuse to blame the woman for rape.
In light of the recent happenings in the Nigerian society, a lot of women are speaking out about their rape experiences, damning the consequences of societal stigma and blame. It is applaudable that women have taken the bold step to speak out and shame their rapists and sexual abusers.
One thing that has become evident, though, is most rapists are like wolves in sheep clothing. They are motivational speakers on social media and rapists in the real world.
Women bear the brunt of rape more than their male counterparts. This does not in anyway shrug off the emotional trauma for men and male children who were sexually abused at one time or the other. Rather, this focuses more on women and how they can actively support the fight against rape and end the rape culture in Nigeria.
We have seen over time that women are stronger and even stronger when united, lending their voice to a particular cause or movement.
Here are three ways women can help end the rape culture:
1. Document as much as you can/Have receipts
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is never an excuse to keep quiet about a heinous crime such as rape. If you notice anything strange and uncomfortable about your environment, turn on your audio recorder, possibly video camera, before things turn ugly. Be sure to call out the person’s name in full if you recognize your assailant. The same thing applies to groping and sexual assault in public places and vehicles.
2. Shout/Speak out
Many women have experienced sexual assault in public places and vehicles, but for “what will people say” syndrome or shame and utter shock, were quiet during the excruciating emotional ordeal. It is important to note that while it can be difficult to call attention to a person who has decided to assault you, do not keep quiet, speak out.
3. Collaborate with influencers/organizations
While this can be difficult, it is important you report to organizations who advocate for women matters and speak out against rape to represent you, because the officers of the law can be funny and uncooperative when you go alone. When you also decide to speak out on social media, never do so alone. Reach out to some influencers who can amplify the matter, especially if you’re not a celebrity or influencer yourself
Rape is a bad and traumatizing experience. Therefore, it should not be swept under the carpet. Be vigilant and make it a point of duty to speak out, document, and report. By so doing, you might be saving your neighbour from falling into the hands of rapists who should be imprisoned.