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Is Rape Justifiable? By Abimbola Abatta

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The notion that indecent dressing triggers rape often irks me because it is not only ludicrous, it is also presumptuous. And even though I disapprove of indecent dressing, it doesn’t justify that barbaric and uncouth act by men-turned-savages.

Rape, in Nigeria, keeps gaining momentum each day. Even at a time like this, when the world is held by the cruel enchantment of COVID-19, this unwholesome act has been on the increase.

Whenever I hear that minors were raped, I shed tears for humanity. I struggle to wrap my head around the fact that a man in his right senses would descend so low to defile a child! What do we call this if not cruelty?

I thought I’d heard it all, but to my greatest surprise, an 80-year-old woman was raped by a filthy 25-year-old! When I heard it, my first thought was: “This guy deserves to die!”

I shudder to think that some men have clothed themselves with wickedness. How can you inflict bodily injury on a fragile being without remorse? When did humans grow into monsters? Who did this to us?

Then the stupid ones will blame the devil. Every single act of wickedness is heaped on the devil. If it’s not the devil, it is the devil!

No one and nowhere is safe! Not even our religious centres! We’ve desecrated the holy place! The news of Uwa’s alleged rape within the church premises was a piercing slap to humanity. Apart from being molested, she was murdered! Her future was cut short! Her family was flung into the abyss of great grief.

What of the monarch who, alongside his son and driver, raped a minor? What a shame to that sacred institution! Is he a king or a mockery of a king? I thought Yoruba monarchs are meant to uphold the Omoluabi culture. Is this the Omoluabi they are meant to exhibit?

Anyone who rapes is a thief and a murderer. The victim is left to nurse an incurable pain. Her future sits on the brink of collapse. Her self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence are kidnapped. Something dies inside of her each time she remembers the ugly incident. She loses faith in the menfolk. She gets scared of marriage; she’s scared for her daughters. Her voice dies; the will to live is dead.

Her agony is intensified if she’s impregnated by a rapist, or if there is permanent damage to her sex organ. How would she mother a child seeded by a monster? How would she taste the joy of childbirth when her organ has been bastardised? The shame, stigma, and suffering!

Oh, the stigma! There are many victims out there who have been forced to silence by society. They become stigmatised; they are ostracised from society because some beasts bred a blight on their beauty.

Warring emotions clash in their minds: “If I talk, who will believe me? Even if someone does, no one will like to associate with a rape victim. Besides, he threatened to kill me with my family if I speak.” The rhetorical questions keep popping up in their agonised heart. With no probable solution, they resort to silence.

How dare you, society! Her innocence has been stolen, but you want her to keep quiet! Her future has been flung into the abyss of nothingness, yet you want her to keep mute! You brought millions of naira to buy her silence! Will your filthy money mend her broken pride? Can your apology repair her stolen innocence? If she tries to speak, you threaten to visit her family with death! This is monstrous!

Then you, the senseless section of the society, inform her that she dressed indecently. Even if she’s naked, does that justify stealing her innocence? NOTHING, I dare say NOTHING justifies rape. Rape is evil in all its attire. Stop justifying rape because it is simply inexcusable!

Listen, you irrational category of the menfolk: rein in your members lest you unleash the fury of God. Teach yourself to never lust after a lady to the extent of rape. If she doesn’t want you, be a gentleman and take your leave. If her consent has travelled, be a humane being; let her be.

Her indecent dressing is not a YES for you to shatter her. Her outspokenness is not a license for you to kill her future. Her beauty is not meant to be ravaged by the beast that resides in you. She’s not meant for rituals; don’t use her to renew your blood money. Tame your lust; tame your irresponsible third leg, and quit navigating your plane through the sacred souls of innocent women.

Cherish the womenfolk, whether young or old. And always remember that Karma is a woman. What goes around will definitely come around. Before you feed the monster in you, ask yourself: “What if this person is my sister, daughter, wife or mother?”

©Abimbola F. Abatta is a Journalist, poet , novelist and Social commentator

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