Victims, Parents Silence Encourages Perpetrators to Move To The Next Level
By Tunde Jakande
We may not be able to fully curb or reduce opportunistic rape usually committed by armed robbers, criminal gangs, cultists and other deranged members of the society but a majority of rape cases are perpetrated by everyday people the victim knows and probably trusts. These include fathers, uncles, cousins, family friends, husband”s friends etc.
Many female babies and teenagers are raped multiple times for years sometimes decades. Most are usually afraid to speak up .
Globally no medical research have been able to capture conclusively, the psychological and emotional depth rape victims suffers. Neither have they been able to provide answers to many diverse behavioural pattern of victims. Why for instance, do some victims remain silent even while being raped repeatedly , why many continue to live in close proximity with those that assault them, why victims are sometimes unable to give accurate description of events leading to the violation or the act itself and why some even end up marrying their rapist.
Researchers however agree that because most of the perpetrators are usually trusted and familiar, victims hold back and bottle up the pains, trauma and anguish because they feel no one will believe them. They assume society will scorn and laugh at them.
Some feel responsible for the crime.
Also, many rapists have mastered the art of intimidation and threats that will keep victims from talking. Serial rapists employ a mix of brainwashing, buying gifts, professing fake love and blaming the devil to gain sympathy or understanding from victims. All these to coarse victims to silence.
Governments in various countries continue to enact severe laws and punishment for offenders to reduce the probability and possibility of rape. However in Nigeria, which has a cultural heritage that encourages extended family member settings, rapes continue to grow.
Statistically, say two out of every five ladies were molested by a family member or friend in their early years. Most remained silent or withdrawn for years. In some cases, mothers are the first to shout down daughters who try to speak.
Many serial rapist capitalise on the silence and move from one victim or the other. Many cases of molestation are never reported and offenders get a way with the crime. Others caught and prosecuted get a slap on the wrist as punishment. Wealthy business men, religious leaders and other members of society commit the crime because they know defence will come from the people.