The Nature and Consequences of Rape on the Victims Part 1

Definitions of Rape
Let us take a look at some selected definitions of rape to enable us have a clear understanding of what it is.

“Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent.

The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault”. Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape

“Rape, act of sexual intercourse with an individual without his or her consent, through force or the threat of force. In many jurisdictions, the crime of rape has been subsumed under that of sexual assault, which also encompasses acts that fall short of intercourse. Rape was long considered to be caused by unbridled sexual desire, but it is now understood as a pathological assertion of power over a victim.” Source – https://www.britannica.com/topic/rape-crime
“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Source – https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/updated-definition-rape.
The nature of rape from the definitions above is such that employs threat or use of force.

Rape is immoral, criminal and illegal in most countries of the world. It is also a violation of the fundamental right of the victim(s).

The increasing rate at which rape is happening in the world today is alarming. It has become a trending issue in the global social discourse, with reported cases emerging on daily basis from different countries.

Developed and developing nations are not spared. The allegations of rape cut across different strata of societies across nations.

The perpetrators employ different tactics and methods to perfect their acts against their victims. Based on the estimation of the perpetrators, when, where and how a particular rape will be carried out is set. If the predators are carefully planning against their target victims, it is only reasonable for potential victims to plan for prevention of such heinous crime.

Who are the perpetrators of rape?
For the purpose of avoidance of doubt, the perpetrators of rape are also called predators. So through the entire length of this writing we will be using the two words interchangeably. The perpetrators are not restricted to strangers. In many cases they are very close to us than we often thought. It is interesting to note that in several cases people you least expected to be involved are actually the masterminds of rape cases. Rape may involve, but not restricted to, any of the following:
Relations. Do not be carried away! Any of the people you think are the closest to you biologically may be the worst predators looking for all avenues to get you raped.

Among them are fathers, mothers, children, siblings, uncles, aunties, grannies, spouses. Cases are abound of fathers raping their own daughters and sons and mothers raping their sons and daughters. Children also rape their parents. Uncles and aunties are raping their nephews and nieces. And this is across genders. Siblings also violate one another. Grandparents are also known to have raped their grandchildren, daughters-in-law and sons in-law. Spouses sometimes rape themselves. What this suggest is that any of these relations could be the predator you are trying to avoid. Be vigilant!

Bosses and colleagues at work. At work you are confronted daily with the subject matter of rape either from your supervisors or your co-workers. The greatest humiliation is the one from your supervisor that may come with the threats of losing your job or promotion. You also face the threat of demotion.

Teachers, students and lecturers in schools, colleges and universities. Some teachers, beginning from the crèche are found fiddling with the genital organs of the children under their care. This is also happening in primary schools. At secondary school levels sexual assaults are also happening on daily basis. Tertiary institutions are not left out this madness as lecturers are also raping students. Students are not spared of this crime and immoral act.

The clerics in the churches and mosques. The clerics too have turned themselves to lions, devouring the sheep that are entrusted to their care by raping them. They are abusing the trust reposed in them by the society.

The criminals like kidnappers, armed robbers, assailants and kidnappers. Sometimes, when these criminals are operating, they also use the opportunity to carry out other nefarious and deadly activities including rape. Wives are raped in the presence of her husbands, daughters in the presence of their parents, and so on. This often makes such encounter more traumatic and makes post encounter recovery process very slow.

Friends. The people you consider your bosom friends may end up being major culprits in your rape process. This therefore raises the question, “Do I really know who my friends are?” “Are the people I see as my friends for real or they are just mere actors who are disguising their true identities and motives?” Don’t take anybody for granted. Know your friends by carrying out some basic background checks about them.

Strangers. Sometimes you may fall into the hands of strangers who do not have good intentions. It is even worse when you meet them in isolated areas in the night. They can do so many terrible things under the cover of the night. That is why it is not advisable to embark on journey to an unfamiliar environment at night.
Law enforcement agents. Soldiers, police and other law enforcement agents are also involved in raping. These happen with or without crises. They deploy the power of the guns they are carrying to force their ways through. This is part of the reason why it is always advisable to avoid crisis prone areas as much as possible.

Mentally challenged persons. The lunatics that are not confined are also involved in carrying out rape at the slightest opportunity, either during the day or at night. The males in this category are mostly the ones involved in the act as predators. On the hand, their female counterparts, are easy preys in the hands of the predators, especially street urchins and those using the act for rituals.

We have to shift our focus from the age old belief that it is men that are raping women. It is important to note that in these days women are raping men the same way they are raping their fellow women as lesbians. In the same vein men are also raping women as well as their fellow men as homosexuals. In many cases, victims are gang raped.

Factors that make the victims vulnerable to rape
Misplaced trust. Who do you trust for decent and civilized treatment?

I mean that person you feel comfortable with that cannot harm you. We all feel we trust one person or the other that cannot harm us. Parents have similar trust for certain people and feel they can leave their children in care of such people while they are at work. Unfortunately such trust is usually a misplaced one because they are placed on the wrong people who often use such opportunity to rape us or our children that are entrusted in their care. Teachers in the crèche and nursery schools do abuse the children in many cases. Same for brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, and grandparents at homes.

This raises the question, “Who do we trust?”
Over dependence. When you appear to be increasingly dependent on a source for something, especially money and material resources you are becoming vulnerable for raping. You have to watch it.

If you find yourself in this position, it is an indication that you may be a victim of rape sooner than you expect.
Little or no influence in the face of a bigger influence. When you have little or no capacity to win the support of critical others in your environment then you are an easy prey in the hands of the rapists. They would want to capitalize on this situation to get you raped with the understanding that even when you report the case to other people they will not believe you. Many victims of rape from the clerics and relations fall into this category. Most people will find it difficult to believe it when a child alleges that his/her father is trying to rape him/her. It is the same when a church accuses the pastor of rape or attempted rape.

How many people would believe that an imam can rape any of his mosque members?
Weak political power. People in this category can easily be manipulated by those in high political offices to do their bids. State apparatus will be mobilized and organized to achieve this inordinate objective and cover the trails of such crimes to skip being prosecuted now and in the future.

Low economic strength. Any man or woman that is poor economically is a potential victim of rape. In attempt to make ends meet he/she will encounter the economically empowered people, some of who would want to take undue advantage of his/her economic condition to rape him/her. When you are in this category, you may find yourself face to face with rape or threat of rape. Even if you are not, chances are that one or more of your family members, especially your spouse or any of your children may fall prey to this social ill.

Unstable mental condition. The people in this category are the most vulnerable to rape because of their peculiar condition. Heartless people, especially the street urchins and drug addicts forcefully have sex with them and in many instances impregnating them. In fact some other people sleep with them mainly for ritual purposes. So when you see any person in this condition, he/she is a sure potential victim of rape.

State of helplessness. You become vulnerable to rape when you are in a situation where no help is readily available. A typical example of this is when you find yourself in a lonely and isolated area for a fairly long period. The situation could be worst if it is within the odd hours of the day.

Gullibility and naivety. Some people are so naïve and gullible. They can easily fall for any trick. That makes them easy prey to the predators to hatch their wicked plans. This is especially the case with the children and teenagers who are easily deceived by corrupt and randy relations whom they believe in. In some instances, these children see them as role models.

Absence of parental care. This could be as a result of many factors. Some of these may due to the death of one or two of the parents, prolong illness, incarceration, business or work involvement, or cheer irresponsibility on the part of one of the parents or both. The children are therefore at the mercy of third party care giver who may not give sufficient attention to their welfare. Among such care givers are relations, domestic workers, day care, and after schools agencies. Unknown to the many, some of these third party care givers are either predators or breeding grounds for predators.

Passive encouragement by some societal cultures. Do you know that some cultural practices actually encourage rape?

Societies that encourage forced and captured marriages have also given approval for violent and involuntary sexual intercourse which is rape. And since society approves or appears to have done so, the perpetrators go unquestioned, talk less of prosecution. So it is like a grand conspiracy of the society against the victims.
Indecent dressing. Of course some people make themselves vulnerable by the way they dress.

Dressings to expose curves, breasts, thighs, and other sensitive parts of the body are nothing but open invitation to erotic feelings that could eventually lead to sexual assault. Females are particularly fond of doing this. But some men are also guilty of indecent dressing. You are addressed the way you dress.

Methods of the predators.
Seductions and Inducements. These twin tactics often being employed by predators to win the hearts of their gullible and unsuspecting victims who often mistaken such gestures for genuine love, and care. Please wake up from your sleep and think. Predators are not Father Christmas. No free lunch. Not even in Freetown.

What you are receiving and you are seeing as gifts are actually being seen as investments by the givers. In no time they want to see their actual return on investment {ROI}. They will do anything to ensure they get maximum benefits for their investment on you, which is getting you laid forcefully. For the underage target victims little things like candies, chocolate, biscuits, yogurt, milk, drinks, toys, and so on are enough investments to get the kind of returns they are expecting. For adult victims, gifts may come in form of clothing materials, footwear, paying for tickets for movies, among others.

Emotional investments could also be employed.
Threats. In order to get their victims to submit themselves for rape, predators also use threats of different kinds. They will ask the victims to comply with their orders or else they will kill them with guns, knives, and other dangerous weapons. The fears emanating from this will leave the victims with no option than to succumb to the command of the predators. Sometimes these threats are empty ones. But in some instances the threats are real.

Employment of brutal force or violent behaviours, Predators in some cases go beyond mere threats to actually apply maximum force which in some instances could lead to the death of their victims or leave them with serious injuries. They employ this method when the victims are seen to be resolute in their resistance to predators or when they suspect the victims can identify them in case of where they want to hid their identity or fear that the victim will still report the case to the police anyway.

They may be tempted to leave their victims dead than leaving him/her alive.
Blackmail. This method is also being used for both underage and adult victims by the predators. The essence is to disarm the victims social and psychologically. Where this succeeds, it helps them achieve their aim with minimum force or threat of force.

The success rate depends largely on the gullibility and antecedent of the victims.
Use of drugs, sedative or poison. This is being used to cause the victims knock off so that victims can to go into deep sleep. As soon as this is done or achieved, the predators will start going into them having a free and unrestrained access.

Taking the victim out from familiar environment to unknown and isolated location. Access to the familiar environment of the victims may be a serious limitation to the predators in hatching their plans. So what they normally do is to look for ways to take the target victims out of their immediate and familiar environment to where they know little or nothing about. Thus the victims are cut off from people they know and other resources that may be of help to them.

Showering gifts and money on the target victims to gain his/her trust or confidence. So people who are thinking ahead of their evil plans would have started giving gifts in money and in kinds to their victims. This is to present themselves to their targets as good, loving and caring person.

This helps them to disarm the victims psychologically long before they will launch their attack and rape.
Making the victims to take an oath of secrecy in the shrines. The victims may be made to swear to oath of secrecy never to tell anyone what is about to happen or what has happened or else they will die. In some cases it works and at some other times it does not work. Even when the victims get out of this bondage and they reveal what happened, the time lag may have made nonsense of the whole thing.

Lies. Outright lies or falsehood against the target victims before any person or agency that may be of support to them.

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