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Sexual Assault

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“What was she doing out so late?” “Why was she wearing such tight, revealing clothes?” “If she visited him at his house she can’t say she didn’t want it to happen.” If you are one of those who says one or more of the above statements, then you are promoting rape culture. If the term “rape culture” sounds alien to you, allow me to explain. Rape culture is a sociological concept for a setting or society in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, slut shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing or outright denial of rape or refusal to acknowledge the harm caused by rape. A very basic study of the Nigerian society will reveal the existence of rape culture which cuts across all facets of society regardless of gender, social class, education, background or exposure.…

I was in 300 level in the university of Lagos and for all my outgoing persona and loud talk, I was still a Virgin. It was internship period and there was a break that year, so students were few in school. This guy had been hitting on me for a while and one evening when everyone had gone out I decided to finally take his offer for lunch. Later, he asked to get something from his flat and looking back I blame myself for being naive, trusting and not discerning. While in his house it began raining and I asked to go back to my hostel. We went out and he tried to start his car but told me that it couldn’t start and I believed him. He then called a mechanic,  when I told him that it was getting late and I would just get myself home, he said the…

Your actions matter, whether or not you were able to change the outcome, by stepping in you are helping to change the way people think about their role in preventing sexual assault. Everyone has a role to play in preventing sexual assault. There are many different ways that you can step in or make a difference if you see someone at risk. This approach to preventing sexual assault is referred to as “bystander intervention.” If you suspect that someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are steps you can also take to support that person and show you care. The key to keeping friends and family safe is first of all recognizing that you can play a significant role in situations that are threatening, and learning how to intervene in a way that fits the situation and your comfort level. Having this knowledge on hand can give you the confidence to…

When I was 14 I met an older teen online who sexually assaulted me. I had never been kissed and he was licking my teeth as I gripped my teeth to keep him out. He was obese and huge. I was small and underweight. He shoved his hands up my shirt and down my pants. He used his body to hold me down. I felt like I was watching it from above instead of it happening to me. He said, “what did you expect wearing pants that tight?” As I was pushing him away, I peed my pants. My flat mate has been harassing me lately and it brought up this dark locked up memory, so I thought to upload my feelings about it. “One of the most violated I’ve ever felt was when you sat next to me on the sofa when we were alone and said, “I’ve seen…

For victims of rape, sexual abuse or sexual assault, especially those who are courageous enough to brave the trauma and stigma to bring their case to trial, undergoing the rigors of a trial especially facing their perpetrator and reliving the terrible ordeal, can be quite overwhelming. This is why it is necessary to dispel some of the myths and focus on some of the truths of what victims of rape or sexual assault can expect from the justice system. It is necessary to state at this point that some of the issues which will be discussed are what would transpire in an ideal setting where the justice system works as seamlessly as it should. In Nigeria, cases of sexual assault that actually go to trial are very minimal in relation to actual cases of sexual assault. This makes discussing what to expect at trial a bit difficult as there are…

“Stealthing” refers to the act of deliberately removing a condom during sex without your partner’s knowledge or consent. It’s illegal in many countries, and is a form of sexual assault. This catchy phrase doesn’t actually mean it’s a new trend but coins a new term for a kind of sexual assault. Women are being warned against this horrifying practice of men secretly removing their condom during sex without consent. The disturbing sex trend was examined by Alexandra Brodsky for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law who said the practice is “not new” but is rarely spoken about. Even more troubling is the online community Brodsky uncovered, where men encourage other men to “stealth” their partners. These perpetrators — both gay and straight — believe it’s a man’s right to “spread one’s seed.” Stealthing leaves a victim vulnerable to pregnancy or STIs, and can cause emotional, physical and financial harm. What is more worrying is…

The subject of rape is a very sensitive one, both for the victim and the culprit. We read about different experiences the victims go through. Worse, our society has over time learned to tilt the table in favor of the culprit, while further victimizing the victim. Although there have been numerous instances where people have used the false accusation of rape as a weapon, causing havoc in the lives of many, tarnishing their reputation and damaging the credibility of those who are actual victims of rape. Findings from a National Survey carried out in 2014 on Violence Against Children in Nigeria confirmed one in four girls reported experiencing sexual violence in childhood with approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that 24.8% of female victims, between 18 to 24 years old,  experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18 of which…

“A while ago?” her friend asked. “Yes, he raped me a while ago. Exactly nine months and two days ago. What’s that? Nine months or nine minutes. It’s the same thing. And it is in the past, you say? Then why is it still happening, every day, every time I close my eyes? Every time I hear someone behind me, and I don’t know who it is; or someone touches me, and I didn’t see it coming? How is it that I get an almost irresistible urge to punch anyone who happens to touch me unexpectedly? Tell me, sis, how do I forgive, let alone forget, something that is still happening, that keeps happening over and over? How? How do I do that?”  – A Survivor. People who are traumatized, like sexual assault survivors, have good reason to feel that they should be hyperaware of possible danger. Hypervigilance is an…

“I am a more sensitive person, a more compassionate and sympathetic doctor because of my rape experience in med school than I would have ever been without it. But I would give up all the growth in a second if I could have gone through med school without the experience. If I could choose, I would forego all of the spiritual growth and depth which has come my way because of my experiences, and be what I was eleven years ago, an ordinary student, studying hard to be a medical doctor. But I cannot choose.” – A Survivor In the face of a traumatic event, individuals may experience, along with the inherent negative responses, a number of positive changes, which reveal posttraumatic growth. The idea that, at least for some people, an encounter with trauma, which may have elements of great suffering and loss, can lead to highly positive changes…