Married: She is her husband’s property.
Unmarried: She is choosy, stubborn has a bad character.
Divorced: She cannot keep a man.
Separated: She is out of control.
Widowed: She must have killed her husband, to inherit his wealth.
Childless marriage: She must have had a bad past which affected her womb.
Rich and Independent: She is a prostitute, “Ashewo”
Victim of Rape: What was she wearing, that attracted the Rapist?
I feel like the rising cases of rape in Nigeria, indeed deserved an uprising like the one we are now witnessing. Funny enough, if you go around asking many people of their thboughts on rape, you will be surprised at the responses you will receive. So many people still think the woman is to blame, if she is raped, and nobody can convince them to believe otherwise. The truth is bad things happen to good people, and seemingly good people, do bad things! I cannot emphasize this enough, and we have got to look at rape from empathy to feel the pain of victims and their families.
Vera Omozuwa, did not deserve what came to her, neither did all the victims we hear about. It was Gloria Steinem who said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor any organization, but to the collective efforts of those who care about Human rights”. I believe if you care for human rights and the rights of the women in your life, your mother, daughter, sister, or child, then you should care about rape culture. It affects you in more ways than you think. I feel like this another opportunity to lend your voice in the fight against Rape and here are a few ways you can do just that:-
Stop excusing it
You can start by not excusing rape. It is a crime and must be condemned wholeheartedly. We hear excuses like, “what was she wearing?’, “why was she out so late?” etc. I feel like these are all excuses for the act in it. No should mean and everyone must respect choices in human relations.
Educate friends and family on Rape, correct misconceptions
I had an interesting conversation with a friend, the other day and it was encouraging to see that she had taken time out to educate her kids on some very important social issues, like rape, racism, etc. I feel like it has become important to educate those around you on these issues. Correct them if they go down the victim-blaming route. Whether it is your brother or parents, or neighbor, people must be educated on issues like this, for Nigeria to be better.
Be part of the conversation, advocate online or physically
Use social media hashtags like #Justiceforuwa, join advocacy groups, and be part of the conversation. Join nationwide physical protests if you can. This is the way to ensure public awareness of Rape and its dangers to people.
Give to causes and NGO’s who fight against Rape
Put your money where your mouth is and donate to rape. Research on the NGO you feel most comfortable with and give money, resources, and time to fight the Cause.