Monday, May 30, 2016

AFTER RAPE; IS SHE THE VICTIM OR THE FOE?

     As usual I start with a scenario. A young lady in her youthful age; which is the age of elegance, purpose and beauty. It is also the age of development (if you know what I mean). She is at her prime with a lot of family and friends( male and female) around her, making her life much more beautiful. 
    
       One day she goes visiting her friends, her most trusted allies. Suddenly one of her male friend beckons on her to come and check out one of the projects they have been working on. He tells her the prototype is in his room. Alright! she says, she is not scared of anything since this is a place she has visited frequently. When they get there he shuts the door and when the door was opened there she laid battered and raped... Oh the shame.... Oh the disgrace, the betrayal oh you name it.
    
      She picks herself up and runs over to her home to see her parents for comfort, for support and for justice. As she gets home she meets them, she falls on the floor crying and then she says... "I WAS RAPED". 
      
      Her parents looked at her and asked her who did that to you, thinking she was going to get due justice for what happened she looks at them and utters a name..... Ahh! the name of the son of a prominent man in the society. Her parents reaction to that name wasn't pleasant at all as they retracted from her and asked her this question "WHO TOLD YOU TO GO THERE".

     These type of questions parents ask degrade a girl child who was just raped. Some funny questions most parents ask include;
1) Who sent you there?
2) What were you looking for there?

     Some people are so callous, they utter words like; 
1) Abi you go rest now?
2) Shebi na your shakara cause am?
3) Your shakara don end now abi?

      Now my question to the public and to parents as well is;
Before she came forward to tell you she was raped;
Do you think she didn't think of all this questions?
Do you think she didn't know that people would feel it's her fault?

      That's the order of the day, when a girl is raped she cannot come forward to say that she was because she feels it's all her fault, because she feels no one would believe her.

       Rather than looking for justice for the girl child you begin to batter her with your words. Trust me most girls suffer less from the trauma of the rape. The trauma of making her know it was her fault is what kills her most, the trauma of not believing her or not doing anything about it even when you know it's true is what kills her most.

     Don't get me wrong some girls wear provocative clothes to entice a man but as a real man can't you just walk up to her and ask for consensual sex? And even if she says no must you force her? 

     Guys learn to keep it in your pants. Our society today does not treat a situation where a guy is raped with the same mindset they do for when a girl is. When a guy is raped no one ask him questions like "WHAT WERE YOU DOING THERE". People only say stuff like "HOW CAN YOU LET A GIRL RAPE YOU".
  
       Most guys in the society are even proud to be raped by girls. People never traumatize a male child when he is raped. The society doesn't even talk about it. But when a girl is raped apart from her parents, the society helps to add to the trauma. The whole neighborhood gossips about the experience. Even girls like her treat her differently like she is an outcast. Worst of all is if she gets pregnant, she would have to carry that child to term and give birth to that child. And every time she looks at that child all she sees is a product of rape, a product of shame and disgrace.

      My view is for us to focus mainly on getting justice for rape victims, rather than placing them in more trauma by throwing more light on whether she knew if the person was good or bad or whether she knows if the pathway to her home is safe or not or whether she wore provocative things or not, let's focus on giving comfort and support and also getting justice for the girl child that has been raped. 
      
        To parents and siblings, if a girl child walks up to you and says she was raped, please let's drop all the harsh comments and rather focus on her, hold her in your arms, tell her everything is going to be fine, take her to the nearest hospital and alert the nurses on duty.
      
        When the necessary test are done and it shows she was raped, file a case in the police station with the name of the person who did that to her and the test evidence to proof that indeed she was raped. If the victim doesn't want to go through this process all you can do as a parent or sibling it to be there for her and believe her. Do not mock her. 
      
      To the young girls in this situation, immediately such event occurs, do not hesitate to tell your parents or guardians. Do not keep this information  stay with you for too long. Say it immediately it happens, don't wait till after some days before you say something. "SPEAK UP"
 
      To the society let's stop adding to the trauma of the girl child that has been raped, rather let's give them a voice to speak when such events occur. Let us give them hope that no matter what their life is not over, let's give them a reason to smile again.

       This article was written by a close friend who felt the need for our own generation to be impacted so that we can pass something to our children and learn to be good parents. And take it from me I learn a lot from it  before posting. And I believe you can also impact your world positively with what  you know and have.