Rape: “I only defiled her twice’’ – Shut up, once is too much already! – Peju Akande

Rape: “I only defiled her twice’’ – Shut up, once is too much already! – Peju Akande



Like many, I hope, I was properly shaken when I read the news about a 34-year-old Godwin Iroro, a Lagos resident charged with rape for allegedly defiling his friend’s 10-year-old daughter.



To my utter stupefaction, Godwin is reported to have urged the DPO to dismiss the charges against him. His argument: he only defiled the minor twice, not severally as claimed by the 10-year-old’s father!



When you get hit with this kind of reasoning, you are pained because you don’t even know where to start explaining. Why once, no, make it an attempt at defilement, be it via emotional blackmail, grooming, and isolation of the minor or threatening the minor for the purpose of defiling her, are punishable crimes!



Where do you begin to rationalize reasoning like this?


ALSO READ: What do we do about fathers who rape their daughters? – Peju Akande



Mind you, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals, male and female, I guarantee, who think like this.



I only had sex with her once, so that pregnancy isn’t mine…



I only put my finger in her, I didn’t have sex with her and so it’s not a crime…



Rape: "I only defiled her twice’’ – Shut up, once is too much already! – Peju Akande




Or I only squeezed her bum and her breasts once, so shouldn’t be charged with sexual assault…



There’s work to be done with respect to rape, people.



Work starts, no, let’s make is, work is also when NGOs, the government; as well as private and public institutions sensitize individuals and communities on VAPP laws (Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act.



ALSO READ: No way! You can’t determine how long a rape victim should hurt – Peju Akande



This law states that; “Every person has the right to live in dignity—free of fear, violence – sexual or physical, and the right to health… Violence against persons is not a woman’s issue—it is an issue that concerns everyone.”



But that aside, I was at an event on Friday, organized by AWB (African Women on Board). It was the unveiling of the organization’s new global Safety in the Workplace initiative. The event was planned in conjunction with the Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos (UNILAG); the Association of Company Secretaries and Legal Advisers (ACSLA), leading law firms and private sector organizations.



There were several panels at the event and my general take away was that even among our learned friends; among lawyers, the upholders of justice, the ones we run to for succor when our rights have been trampled upon; there are cases, loads of them, of sexual misconduct in the legal ecosystem…



Rape: "I only defiled her twice’’ – Shut up, once is too much already! – Peju Akande



No one is coming out and the few who do, their voices are being drowned.

ALSO READ: Myth that reveals clothing leads to rape


But here’s the thing. Rape or sexual assault is a  global problem and not common just to us in Nigeria. That isn’t consolation though, so we need to keep saying this.



So that the likes of Godwin Iroro can understand that sexual assault or rape; whether against a minor or adult is a crime; whether done once, twice, or several times, it carries the same weight of the law. And the more we talk about it, the more people understand that the crime carries heavy penalties.



Maybe when families, friends, bystanders also openly condemn the act; then more people will stop committing these acts because there will be dire consequences.



That said, here’s hoping that Godwin Iroro serves his time in jail.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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