Following the viral petition against convicted rapist that calls for more severe punishment, I was interviewed on Thursday 18th June 2020 by prolific media personality Adeyemi “Urban” Oba via his Twitter handle @UrbanCulture16.
In this Tweetchat, I answered frequently asked questions about Rape.
Tell us briefly about yourself and your NGO?
I am Aderonke Dairo, founder of the Aderonkeomodairo Foundation.
I am a health practitioner based in the UK but with a deep love for my fatherland.
We address issues like rape, child trafficking, sexual molestation.
Different meaning of rape these days we don’t even know what is what again...please help us define rape?
Rape is when sexual intercourse is non-consensual not agreed upon or a person forces another person to have sex against his or her will. It can happen when the victim is intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. Rape includes intercourse in the vagina, anus or mouth.
When we hear rape, the first thing that comes to mind is female. Yes or No? is rape a target on a particular gender?
No, rape is not gender-specific. It happens on both side.. Male or Female.
Oh, so rape goes both ways...What are the things that trigger people to rape?
Nothing justifies violation, but evidence suggests that substance abuse is one of the key reasons for rape... Saying that it's not a justification to RAPE!
Okay, nothing justifies rape but could it be mental or psychological issues?
Have there been such cases in history?
No, no research..it is impossible to justify an act as heinous as rape. They point the finger at victims – the clothes they had on, the make-up they were wearing, the signals they sent, the alcohol they had consumed. The only thing that causes rape is rapists.
What are the effects of rape on the victims?
Effects can be psychological or physical. Psychological includes PTSD, depression, flashbacks, sleep disorder, eating disorder, guilt, distrust of others, borderline personality. Physical effects include; infection, painful intercourse, pregnancy, STD e.t.c.
Where did society & parents go wrong?
The society has not apportioned a commensurate punishment to this crime, and we also stigmatize victims. Parents on their parts try to conceal the crime, especially when their children are victims due to the associated stigma.
What are the things your NGO has done or plan to do in curbing this menace?
The first thing to do is to ensure stricter punishment for rapists so that people will see how grave the crime. We have raised an online petition, and the petition currently has over 500 signatures, and we hope this will spur our govt to work.
Yes, let’s talk about the petition you wrote that has been circulating online, tell us more about it?
I started the petition as we need stricter laws and punishments for rapists and to put an end to this horrific act.
Thank you for championing the petition against convicted rapists but recently, Inspector General of Police said just 717 cases of rape have been reported so far in 2020...what can you say about it?
Like I stated earlier, most rape cases are swept under the carpet in Nigeria because the victim is not ready to pursue the case to a logical conclusion due to stigmatization. These figures given are only for the cases reported. A lot more go unreported.
With 3 popular rape cases in Akinyele Ibadan in the last 2 weeks, will you say this is becoming a pattern?
Yes, it looks like we have a serial rapist or the person(s) committing this outrageous violation, reckon they can get away with it.
Alleged Rape that happened years ago but coming to light now, is such valid? i.e the trending story of Dbanj vs Seyitan
Most victims think that it was their fault; Offenders encourage confusion and shame and exploit people’s reluctance to identify themselves as victims. It takes courage to speak out about RAPE esp in Nigeria, and every allegation should be carefully evaluated but because many people are not psychologically prepared to accept how prevalent harassment and assault are, they tend to look for reasons to disbelieve... Once doubt is set in, it eradicates any motivation the victim has.. Remember, everyone reacts differently.
What message do you have for Oyo State Government, the Governor himself, Speaker of Assembly, parents, and the general public about Rape, Gender-based Violence, etc?
I believe that the perpetrators of these acts and many more are usually not apprehended and even in cases where they are, our current laws on rape do not serve as enough deterrent to prevent reoccurrence. Oyo state government needs stricter laws and punishments for rapists to put an end to this horrific act. In regards to gender-based violence, we need to raise awareness of the dangers of harmful traditions. Addressing social and cultural norms, those beliefs and practices that allow for the subjugation of women and permit domestic violence is another piece of the prevention puzzle.
Lastly, if there is a rape victim either male or female, what are the things/steps you will advise such people to do immediately after the incident?
Remember you are NOT alone, Seek medical assistance
Do not shower or change your clothes before going to the hospital.
Remember, clothing may be collected as forensic evidence. The term “rape-kit” may sound scary, but in reality, it’s relatively simple. Performing a rape-kit on someone involves collecting hair samples, swab cultures from the mouth, vagina and anus, scrapings under the nails, blood samples, urine cultures, and a urine toxicology sample. Seeking comfort and support from trained counselors is very important. After a rape, you may be affected emotionally and physically. Only you can decide when you feel you are okay to open up about it.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and time with us, it has been a very enlightening conversation.
Thank you for having me
Please feel free to call 07040000076 if you have been raped and need Legal Counsel.