12-Year-Old Boy Is Charged After He Sexually Assaulted A Teacher Ending Sexual Violence in Nigeria

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Ending Sexual Violence in Nigeria

I am a human rights activist and a lawyer, fighting for the rights of victims of human rights violations. I have worked with several human rights organizations and in addition to my private law practice I also run an NGO; Virtue Women’s Empowerment International. For me, no issue is more important than the pursuit of sanity to protect women and girls.

Sexual violence is a widely underreported phenomenon in Nigeria due to ignorance of victims, stigma due to lack of documentation, widespread societal perception of such behavior as a normal occurrence, and corruption, so available data often underestimates the true problem of scale. Prevalence data on different forms of violence against women show statistics of lifetime intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence: 16%, intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in the past 12 months: 11%, Lifetime non-partner sexual violence: 2%, child marriage: 43%, female genital mutilation: 25%[1].

However, the threat has increased dramatically due to the influence of the media through visual graphic depictions of sexual intercourse or nudity and the moral degradation of society. Sexual violence takes many forms and contexts.The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual violence in its 2002 World Report on Violence and Health as: “Any sexual act, attempted sexual advance, unwanted sexual comment or advance, trafficked or otherwise Sexual conduct by a person who uses coercion in any setting, including but not limited to the home and the workplace, regardless of the relationship to the victim[2]. Sexual violence is a neglected area in Nigeria and across Africa, and therefore a concerted campaign against it must be promoted.

It’s all said man’s world, and to me that’s not just a proverb, it’s practiced in reality; in law, jurisprudence is still often based on “reasonable man standards” that assume male bodies and experiences. A person is less likely to be threatened by another person of roughly the same size and strength. However, women are most likely to be beaten and killed by an intimate partner, most commonly a man.

In Nigeria, society prioritizes men’s bodies, experiences and needs, while women are often demeaned and disrespected. Women and girls are considered property and are violated at will without any sanction. Even with increased education and the demands of civilization, the sanctity of women and girls is not truly respected and valued, and unlike other crimes, sexual violence is considered a pre-existing condition – where women and girls These parties suffer disproportionately; one cannot even imagine what they went through because the situation is so tragic. Sexual violence in Nigeria happens to women of any age; it is violence perpetrated by parents, carers, acquaintances, employers and strangers and intimate partners.

There is a lot of physical violence, emotional abuse, and non-consensual sexual interactions that violate the sexual integrity of women and girls, both sides of which waver in this modern era and are happening daily in Nigeria; female genital mutilation, by fathers, future Mandatory virginity tests by husband or teacher, forced prostitution and human trafficking for sexual exploitation, father having sex with daughter, heterosexual sexual assault of girl, teachers, uncles and caretakers, calling ma’am in a sexually inappropriate way , accosting women on the road, hitting sensitive parts of a woman’s body in the name of greeting or courtship are rampant in our society and men do it rashly and get away with it. Some people think all women are perverted, sex machines or whores, while others think women are babies.

A man cannot have sex with a woman unless she gives her consent. This consent must not be coerced by deception, manipulation or misrepresentation. What’s more, sexual relations or direct blood relations between fathers and daughters are not allowed. There is an age limit for girls to have sex, and Nigeria’s Sexual Offenses Act sets 18 as the age of consent. Therefore, sex with infants or adolescents is not permitted.

It is very common for people to have little general awareness. In large part, that’s because it’s not being discussed publicly.

Other reasons for this evil are very poor parenting due to moral justice, reluctance of women and mothers to educate their children about sex, mothers threatening their daughters and not developing an intimate relationship with their daughters to create an environment for them to tell what they Having sex. Most mothers see their daughters as competitors for the love of their husbands and focus only on themselves instead of taking the time to educate their daughters about sex. Raising a child is the responsibility of both parents; the father and the mother, most fathers neglect their responsibility to train their sons to be responsible. In a family where the father disrespected his wife, was domineering, sexually assaulted and abused her, the son carried this mentality into society and into his later relationships with women and wives. Innocent girls who were morally taught to obey their fathers and didn’t rightly know that their fathers didn’t mean to sexually abuse them.

This is due in part to a lack of institutional support from the police and justice system, widespread tolerance of sexual violence in the community, weak community sanctions against sex offenders, fear of being socially stigmatized, stigmatized and ignored, and ignorance of the help available. .

When women and girls are sexually oppressed, businesses and government agencies suffer—employee absenteeism, security costs, prosecution of alleged perpetrators, and exacerbated poverty due to a reduced workforce of female citizens unable to perform to their full capacity. It also affects them psychologically, inability to trust the opposite sex, fear of marriage or romantic relationships, lowers their self-confidence (most feel worthless or because society stigmatizes them).

In addition, sexual violence has profound short- and long-term effects on physical and mental health, such as increased risk of sexual and reproductive health problems, increased risk of suicide or HIV infection, murder, forced abortion.

In other respects, to eradicate sexual violence, mothers should educate their women about proper sex education, godly morals and obey them properly, churches, mosques should educate girls about incest and sexual relations with direct blood relations, schools Girls and even male teachers should be educated about this and should be checked. There should also be a clear legislation on sexual violence, whatever form it takes.

The mentality of Nigerian men needs to change and for this the government needs to clearly oppose this. The perpetrators are this evil and should be arrested, prosecuted and set a public example to warn others. Interestingly, when incidents of sexual violence occurred and were reported to the police, he even supported the perpetrators or dropped the issue, the Nigerian police force needs to get it right.

Women and girls should stop condoning any form of sexual violence and stand firm against it. Victims should promptly report the incident to the police station and report to the nearest human rights NGO so that they can be prosecuted and assert their rights.

Violence against women and girls is often fueled by negative structures of masculinity and masculinity, which lead men to believe that they must possess certain qualities and behave better than women. For example, physical strength and sexual prowess can serve as indicators of whether a person is a “real man.”

Most men do not consciously commit violence against women and girls. The main problem is that most men who don’t engage in the behavior are silent and don’t hold other men accountable let alone block their words and actions, so it’s not easy for men of all ages to facilitate or initiate sex between them Conversation about violence against women and girls is critical to changing the mindset and behavior of boys and young men towards their female peers.

It also requires redefining traditional masculine images that run counter to women’s interests and rights, and embracing the recognition of women’s rights. Women and girls must also be able to share their truths about being survivors of gender-based sexual violence. Real fears of social stigma and isolation can only be overcome if there is widespread awareness of the tragic normalization of violence against women and girls. By giving survivors of gender-based violence emotional affirmation and non-judgmental support, we allow their perpetrators to act freely with impunity.

Successfully addressing violence against women and girls must be viewed as a long-term intergenerational effort. It is about changing cultures and societies that hold beliefs and institutions that are harmful to women and girls and other vulnerable groups.

[1] UN Women, Global Database on Violence against Women http://www.evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/en/countries/africa/nigeria

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_violence

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