The Nigerian Rape Mentality

"Girls like to be forced to have sex so as not to appear cheap"
The above phrase is one of the most popular phrase you will hear amongst the adolescent and young adults in different area of Nigeria. This phrase is fast becoming an acceptable way of life amongst our young people. A trend if not addressed will lead to an increase in the already high level of reported rapes in our country Nigeria.


What is Rape?

The Nigerian Law in Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP 77, LFN 1990 defineds rape as:

“Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of false threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false or fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in case of a married woman, by personating her husband is guilty of an offence called rape”.

The United Nations (UN) defines rape as;

“Sexual intercourse without valid consent.”

While the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002 defined it as;

“Physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.”

The keywords in the definitions of Rape above is consent. All the definitions agree that sexual intercourse without a valid consent of the other party is rape.

Now the question is "What constitutes a valid consent?".

To answer this question, I will refer back to the definition of rape as contained in Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP 77, LFN 1990 with emphasis on the emboldened part;

"Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of false threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false or fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in case of a married woman, by personating her husband is guilty of an offence called rape”.
From the emboldened part of this law, obtaining consent by force or by means of intimidation of any kind is rape. So it is right to say that this ugly "girls like to be forced" mentality found in our youths today is rape mentality.

In many institutions of higher learning across the country, you will hear young men affirming the usefulness of this "girls like to be forced" mentality and encouraging others to try it. It is shameful and equally dangerous that this ugly mentality is gradually becoming a norm in our country Nigeria. In my opinion, more than 60% of women between the age of 18 and 30 have at one time or the other experienced this.

You might be tempted to ask "Why are they not reporting?". The truth is that when victims try to report such cases of rape in Nigeria, they are further victimized. You will hear statements like "Why did you go to his house?", "Didn't you enjoy it?". Hence, emboldening the culprits to continue in that path and encouraging others to try.

It is high time we confronted this ugly situation and nip it from the bud before it turns to something else.



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