CHILD-RAPE: A menace to the Girl-Child ‘Dami Aweda

            According to the Wikipedia free encyclopedia RAPE can be defined as a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, initiated by one or more persons against another (weaker/more vulnerable) and without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent.
A girl child is a female between the age of 0-17 years. Any female below the age of 18years fall under the category of the girl child and is entitled to the basic children right. Discrimination among genders has been a worldwide menace but it is found to be more prevalent in African countries where the birth of a female child met with doom while the birth of a male child is a source of joy and rejoicing to the family. These doesn’t exclude the fact that cases of child rape/molestation don’t occur at western countries.
Rape of the girl child
The rape of the female child has become a frequent item on our daily news as no day passes without reading about one or more rape cases in various areas of the country, children are no longer safe in their homes or schools.
Prior to these times when we talk about rape we imagine grown-ups forcefully having their way with other grown-ups but that’s no longer the case, we have seen, heard and even been close to people who had their children “even as little as day old babies” being raped by fathers, uncles, brothers, teachers and to crown it all up “Men of God”. I wonder what exactly it is that could draws the attention of a fully grown man to a little girl of 3 months of age, what endowments does she possess that can stir his libido? These has also shown that the perpetrators of child-rape also have psychological problems most times. I believe people caught in this wicked act should be subjected to a thorough mental check up before being sentenced to life imprisonment depending on the gravity of the rape.
According to the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye during the monthly press briefing in January 2013, a total of 427 girls were raped in the last year, and this cannot be said to be accurate because there will be many unreported cases that might have gone unnoticed, also our judiciary has not so fair when it comes to rape cases, they subject the rape victims to lots of emotional traumas forcing the rape victims recount the ordeal and giving reasons why they should not be blamed for the rape.
The Attorney General made mention of a rape case involving a pastor and an eleven years old girl who had already carried out 3 abortions for the pastor then that makes one ask why didn’t she report to her parents you ask but what will a little girl say to her parents against a trusted pastor and friend of the family. A friend of mine had a similar brush with a clergyman who was also a friend of the family. Despite her continuous and incessant complaints to her parents about advances from the clergyman they refused to believe her until the rape almost occured. What can be done to curb this menace? What can we do as a people to stop this abnormality and madness? We have to work together to tackle this issue, we cannot leave the training of our children to the hands of total strangers, we should create time for our children, avoid leaving our children with stranger and even some family members, develop a close relationship with your daughters so that they can confide in you and always learn to believe your children and whatever they report to you.These children are our future and we should protect them so that we can have a tomorrow, we need to raise a generation of women that can stand and say no to rape, our judiciary need to mete out stiffer punishments for perpetrators of child rape, we need to come together to protect this young girls. Also, strong and stiffer sanctions should be taken against rapists and proper correctional facilities should be put in place for such victims as the emotional, psychological and physiological effect of rape is very devastating.

‘Damilola Aweda

She’s based in Calabar,Nigeria and tweets via @awedadamilola

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