I was privileged to do a thesis on rape and the concept of consent for my criminal law class. And in my work, I wrote ‘In Africa, rape thrives in secrecy due to the pretentious nature of the African people in matters relating to sexuality… ‘
This is so true, I found out as it was affirmed by experts and textbook writers.
Rape law, without a doubt, is one of the most interesting courses I’ve taken as a law student. This is because it is so prevalent in our society today to the extent it could even be labelled as ‘cool’! I mean, what a shame!
I was in a conversation with my friend’s roommate the other day and she said something about her brother saying it isn’t rape if the girl willingly came to the house! For crying out loud! What the heck does that even mean? Pardon me to delve into judicial precedence a bit, but in the case of R v. Shrub and R v. Kaithamaki, the English Court of Appeal held that ‘Upon withdrawal of consent, the man is to withdraw immediately and any further thrust constitutes rape… ‘
This is so clear. Rape, no matter how you look at it, is sexual intercourse with a non-consenting female. It doesn’t matter if you thought she consented or even if she initially did!
In an illustration given by Crown Prosecution Service in 2015, consent was explained as having a cup of tea thus:
‘You can’t pressure someone into having a cup of tea and you can tell whether someone asks for a cup of tea or not…. ‘
Please, guys. Let’s stop this mantra of ‘she came to my house. So, she asked for it’. It’s getting old and lame. There are lots of girls out there willing to have sex with you, I’m sure (and if they aren’t, woo them, please… Don’t force them), don’t force them! It’s 2017! She came to my house is no longer a valid excuse! And I swear, if I catch you with that lame-ass excuse, imma whip your ass, I swear to God!
Rape is the most damaging thing you can do to a person. No one deserves to go through the psychological,physical and mental damage that these victims go through. Think about your mother(I’m sure you have one), think about your sisters, friends, family, that random lady next-door that feeds orphans…Think! And don’t do it!
And, consent is not in the clothes a lady wears or what she says or how she walks. It simply means YES. And non-consent means NO. Simple! She agreed to have a nightcap is not consent! She smiled at you is NOT consent! Please, let’s be clear on this.
And finally, we should as much as possible try to provide therapy and rehabilitation for victims of rape, especially in Africa where victims are blamed mostly for what happened. It is not unusual to hear statements like ‘you shouldn’t have gone to his house’ or ‘you shouldn’t have dressed in such provocative manner ‘, like it is normal to go about raping everybody who comes to a male’s house or dresses ‘indecently’.
Let’s leave all this behind. There is nothing cool about rape. No body would pray or wish to be raped. Or actually go out of her way to make it happen. So, let’s try as much as possible to be less judgemental and more supportive.
Here’s a clip of my #RedefiningRapeCulture on Instagram. Click here to watch it!
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