S3xual harassment and abuse in Nigeria has always been an important issue to me. Not only because it is rampant in our society, but because we seem to have the endless misconceptions and the wrong attitude towards this vices that are tearing at the fabric of our society
From the "little" of them, such as vocal harassment up to outright rape, only a small percentage of the population is ready to actively participate in ridding the society of these vices or at least keeping them on a low.
It is a shame that walking down the streets has become a challenge to some of our pretty young ladies. Beauty of course is attractive, but instead of receiving few appreciative gazes, they receive uncomfortable stares, embarrassing comments and cat calls, whistles and sometimes very unsavoury comments about their looks and if they are alone, unwanted and uncalled for physical contact and it's more of a shame that some people don't even consider this as s3xual harassment.
Now before you jump on to the first most common misconception that these ladies were moving at the wrong time or scantily dressed, take note that this harassment's take place at any time of the day and has no regards for what a lady is wearing! I have been harassed on my way to school in the morning in a T-shirt and jeans and on my way back from church in a long dress. Note that I'm a very skinny lady so no body contours there!
Even so, when did being pretty or being out at night become an invitation to be harassed? is that excuse acceptable in a court of law? Would you tell the judge you raped or harassed a girl because she was out at night or was scantily dressed? Where in our constitution does it say a girl deserves to be raped if scantily dressed? Let us go back to our various traditional dresses in Nigeria, way before religion came, when we wore skimpy wrappers, why was rape not rampant then? Why do we continue to make excuses for these perpetrators?
It is also alarming that victims find it hard to speak out take legal actions against their abusers even when their identities are know. This is because unfortunately, In our society, the ladies are booed, equally verbally harassed and looked down upon, sometimes the perpetrator is a well-respected and powerful person in the society and due to the rotten system of justice, they might have no chance at victory. Sometimes, the perpetrator is a teacher, an household member or employee and the victims are scared. Some of these victims end up committing suicide and Nigeria keeps losing promising youths.
I'd encourage the government to enact strict laws against s3xual harassment and abuse while I'd also appeal to nongovernmental organizations to provide awareness to victims and people generally of their rights and provide legal and financial help to enable victims get justice, also as citizens we should try to rid our minds of some of this misconceptions and stand up for our fellow human rights.
This is my opinion, I'd love to hear yours, drop a comment!
You are very right. When things like this happen, people will find what to say against the girl involved. It's either they say she walked alone at night or because she was not properly dressed. Doesn't she have the right of movement? and the right to do anything she wants. The poor attention and law on this issue make men to see every reason to harass a girl. They are too undisciplined to control themselves. This should stop and a very severe punishment should be given for this punishable offence and inhumane act.
i think the solution lies with the masses and the government. the government should pass more strict laws that would be followed by law enforcement agencies. the masses should do well to protect everyone around them, like creating awareness and possible punishment for anyone who go against the stipulated laws no matter who it maybe.
This is a very important topic and issue. It seems as though when a girl gets raped she's the one to blame. Why can't the guys be blamed for it?
If the government puts in place certain policies or law against those who rape then the rate at which women are raped will reduce.
My opinion though.
The problem is the general belief that the victim is at fault which is absolutely wrong. Even if the lady is wearing a skimpy dress, then look the other way to avoid temptation . It is that simple. It is important to give power to the voices of these victim because we keep losing youth due to social criticism. This need to change for a better society.