Don’t be too quick to give a ‘no’ response, read my story. RAPE as a globally sensitive subject self explains why most would rather not talk about it. Sensitive or not, RAPE, a heinous crime makes you wonder about the penalties of being found guilty of committing it. The statistics of convicted RAPE cases might convince you that RAPE doesn’t exist as much. In 2014, at a public hearing conducted by the National House of Assembly on The Violence against Persons (Prohibition) bill, which is now an Act (2015) signed by then President Goodluck Jonathan, Most RAPE examples discussed at the event was from Enugu State. It was mentioned then that Enugu State recorded 80 RAPE cases in 3 months. Enugu State House of Assembly is yet to domesticate this Act and hopefully they will do so. I would at this point acknowledge the brilliant work that WACOL lead by Prof. Joy Ezeilo is doing towards this. Back to the question; is there really a RAPE Culture in Enugu?

When we grew up, incidents of rape wasn’t as widespread or maybe people didn’t speak up as much. Many factors must have contributed to this hibernation. The societal stigmatization etc, many victims do not come out to report rape because of the value that will be placed on them. So the cases are shrugged off. The cases that make the news are usually that which involves an older man and a child. And even then the family quickly tries to bury or settle it.

Here is a concern in Enugu, there is a culture of calling RAPE everything but RAPE. As though not calling it RAPE could make it any less heinous.  There are slangs around town for it like igba set, free on your balls and so many others. Phyno sang it in his song Alobam, “Pino pino form o guys iga agba ha Set”. But in reality, girls are being RAPED and society is unlooking. We put up vile reasoning in defence of people who shouldn’t be defended, we ask what she was wearing; ask whether or not she struggled, as though the norm is that most victims can indeed fight off an aggressor determined to RAPE. Questions like the above have ensured that the table is turned so that the victim becomes convinced they played some roles in enabling their own RAPE.

What is truthful is that within most Frats in Enugu, it’s a normal thing to RAPE girls. It is a ritual. Some demand for sex and will get this demand however. Frat parties in Enugu provide regular avenues to rape young girls. So do we really have a RAPE Culture in Enugu? I’d say Yes.

First, one month after PhynoFest, reports emanated that girls were molested (possibly RAPED) at the concert. A friend who was there told me about her personal ordeal of sexual assault even though she went with a guy. That concert held in an enclosed environment (the State stadium) and a lot of reported abused happened, videos showed Singer Dbanj had to intervene at one point.

And then there was Flavour’s concert and countless threads of similar occurrences. A staff of Trace TV reported about the incident when he tweeted “I’m leaving Enugu this morning! What I saw yesterday was a country with more youthful problem than we can imagine! Yesterday, the amount of girls that were sexually harassed and RAPED at the Concert was heavy! Concert became a rescue operation for Innocent girls. Vile men!”

What was shocking were reactions to this eye witness account. People even went to the extent of calling it a smear campaign against an artist who decided to give back to his community. To what end? We asked those questions once again turning victims into the accused, thereby losing some possibility of getting justice for the abused.

I expected Flavour to put out a statement condemning the act and encouraging anyone affected to come forward and he will stand by them, promising a security upgrade in his next event. But he was conspicuously silent. It’s a shame on Flavour that he believes his silence will cause the story to die again just like the ones from Phynofest, a complete disregard for the welfare of those who may have been raped in his concert. It is a shame on the Government and Security agencies that the safety of our girls can’t be assured in such an open event.

Finally, It is not too late to accept that we do have a problem and start a re-orientation on Sexual abuse. Young men in Enugu need to understand consensual sex and the liberty of girls to choose. It is a jailable offense to RAPE, and most people at the mercy of this act are girls. Let’s put a stop to this RAPE Culture.
The post Does Enugu Have A RAPE Culture? – Akuluchukwu Edeh appeared first on Coalcity Connect.
Source: Coal City Connect

Author: Alexander Mezue

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