Friday, July 6, 2018 12:31 pm
A 24-year-old rape victim in Kaduna State (name withheld), who was allegedly raped at 14 by her landlord, said on Friday she regretted collecting N2,000 to shout her mouth.
Sharing her eight years ordeal with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna, the victim alleged that the landlord took undue advantage of her when she went to watch a movie in his apartment.
The victim, who described the incident as the most horrible experience of her life, said it had affected her life negatively, robbing her of her self-confidence, self-esteem and pride.
“I usually go to our landlord apartment who lives in the same compound with us to watch movies along with his children.
“It happened when I was sent back home from school for failure to pay school fees.
“On getting to the house, there was no one around, the landlord children were all in school and his wife was also away.
“My parents were also out, so I was alone and noticed that the landlord was around. I went to the apartment to watch movies as usual, and that is when he raped me,“ she said.
The victim added: “I was young and powerless against his masculine strength. It was painful and shameful.
“It’s an experience I tried not to remember, yet I could not forget how I was forced down helplessly against my wish and my pride taken away.”
The victim said that when he offered her N2,000 to buy her silence, she could not resist because she needed the money to settle her school fees.
“Nonetheless, I felt ashamed not only because I was raped, but that I get to see the perpetrator, old enough to be my father every day since we live in the same compound.
“I could not tell my parents because I was scared and could not tell anyone because I was ashamed and afraid of stigmatisation,“ she said.
The victim, however, advised parents to stop allowing their young girls from going to neighbours’ house “no matter how good the neighbours might appears to be.”
She also called on the governments at all levels and other relevant stakeholders to intensify efforts towards curbing the menace.
The victim suggested for review of law in the state, proposing that government should make the law in such way that a rapist would be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Another victim, aged 24, alleged that she was raped at 19 while in her first year in Kaduna Polytechnic.
She alleged that she got pregnant for the rapist, who was a Higher National Diploma student in the polytechnic, who forced her to abort the pregnancy.
“As a fresher, we looked up to our seniors to help us with studies and this young man was one of the HND students that organised tutorial for freshers.
“After we became acquainted, I visit him off campus once in a while to help me out with my studies and he took advantage of that to rape me and get me pregnant.
“He begged me not to tell anyone that he forced himself on me and I kept quiet; because it was shameful to share such experience, I kept mute.
“After a while I realised I was pregnant; I confronted him and he forced me to abort the pregnancy, which I obliged to save myself from embarrassment, “she said.
The victim said there were quite a number of girls out there with similar experiences who chose to remain silent to avoid stigmatisation.
Mrs Mary Audu, a Guidance and Counselling teacher with Christ Ambassadors College, Kaduna, described increasing rape cases in the country as disturbing, adding that rape victims end up living a promiscuous life.
She called on government agencies and relevant stakeholders, including parents to embark on massive sensitisation against rape with focus on the male child.
According to her, the male child needs to know the negative consequences of rape, stressing that “if there are no rapists there will be no rape.”
Mrs Juliana Joseph, the Director, Sexual Assault Referral Centre Kaduna, said that rape could have life time effect on the lives of victims.
Joseph urged victims and care givers to report to relevant authorities whenever someone, no matter how highly placed, took undue advantage of girls.
She said the ugly trend would continue until the perpetrators of such act were exposed and prosecuted.
Joseph insisted that parents and care givers had a duty of protecting their children from all forms of abuse.