The trivialisation of consent in sex

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – There has been an alarming surge in cases of sexual violence against women. While this evil has been a part of society for longer than any timeline can be attached to, those behind these acts seem only to become more brazen; despite advancements in technology making it more likely for them to be caught.

While the true number of incidents are uncountable, those which have been so shocking that they have amounted to headlines include the brutal rape and assault of the UNIBEN student who met her painful end after being harassed in a church sometime last month, the 12-year old child gang raped and, most recently, the 70-year old raped in her sleep.

Despite the outcry for justice seen on the gravity of these and other actions of perpetrators, a fearful amount of citizens have come out either to support or belittle the pain inflicted by the suspects involved, especially in cases involving young women. Most recently, several notable persons in the entertainment industry have also been found to be alleged abusers themselves, with almost no backlash, exposing the nonchalance and lack of accountability in the Nigerian societal landscape.

Speaking out against gender violence and the lack of safety of the females in the nation, concerned lawmakers have proposed the introduction of stiffer penalties as a deterrent to the crime, with one member of Senate even suggesting castration.

Although the motion was rejected, the problem still stands; action must be taken to reveal sexual abuse as the crime it is, encompassing the pain, humiliation and lifelong stigma which victims suffer.

It would appear a more serious reeducation is required in the nation to equate sexual assault to any other serious crime, as well as the attachment of a fittingly grievous punishment.

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