The Psychology of Rape

Very unfortunately, our society is already a failed one: cannibalistic leadership at the federal and state levels, absence of basic life-enhancement amenities, wanton waste of human and material resources, wretched health-care practice, poor security network and sterile educational system. It will be devastatingly unimaginable if we add the black-hearted culture of rape into this pathetic list.

If I, for once, will ever borrow the misogynists’ definition of a woman ‘as the weaker cell’, it will be to underscore that the sole responsibility of those who think of themselves as the ‘stronger cells’ should protect the dignity of the weaker ones. The awful story of rape dominating the headlines of our newspapers and the thousands of unreported cases interlacing the fibers of our communities, are evidence that our society has been infested by beasts and needs to be fumigated.  

Unfortunately, very many of us do not know what rape is or how it happens or the deleterious effect that comes after it. Rather imprudently, many of us feel that rape is ‘just like sex but not for the victim’s resistance’. Hence, you find senseless comments like, ‘Why did she struggle with the rapists?’ What was she doing in the man’s room? Why did she go to the church alone to read when schools are closed? Why did she wear such a short gown? What was she doing outside at night alone? Not only are these questions inherently foolish, but they are naked pictures of exacerbating psychosis!

So, what was the woman supposed to do? Smile and open her legs for an unknown assailant whose health condition can obviously not be trusted? Avoid a man’s room because all men are plagues? Hire a bodyguard whenever she wants to go out? When we ask these silly questions and many others, we do not only help to annihilate the victim, but we give awesome incentives to those beasts to continue their nefarious activities.   

Rape is brutal! I will not labour you with all the common dangers of rape that you must have learnt in your Social Studies in junior secondary school, even though many may still not know that deadly, incurable diseases, unwanted pregnancy, destruction of the female genitals, and permanent damage to the female reproductive organs can be inflicted in just few minutes of this gruesome atrocity.

Besides the obvious ones, the deadliest effect of rape that we often do not talk about is the overwhelming psychological trauma that characteristically follows the victim – a doom that only very few are able to come out of it.

The human personality (appearance, pride, intelligence, thoughts and actions) is wired to human sexuality – wired to the biological facts that one is either a woman or a man, with each uniqueness covered in the dignity of each personal privacy. Once this is compromised, either by sickness, accident, or any other external force not acceptable to the person involved, the result is always loss of pride, dignity and self-worth, consequently leading to either acute psychological damage or death. This explains why many rape victims who cannot put themselves together or who are overwhelmed by PTSD recourse to suicide.

Contrary to many held opinions, eighty percent of rape cases are not born out of erotic or romantic thoughts. Rape is often used as a tool for violence, with premeditated thoughts to subdue, humiliate and destroy. It is only very few cases of rape that are accidental, many others, mostly the ones that result in the instant death of the victim, like the case of Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, are carefully planned, either has part of robbery operation, kidnapping, revenge, propagation of malice, war, or terrorism.

However, due to unrestrained availability of pornography and the bustling erotic thoughts and ‘sensibilia’ of the Modern period, young innocent female children have become forced object of sexual experimentation by young boys, in the nursery schools, secondary schools and poorly parented neighbourhoods.

Whatever it is, it is important that we take a strong, realistic stance against the fertilization and growth of this malevolent culture, bearing in mind the untold damages that it leads to. The government should review the present legislation on rape and consider a sterner punishment for such grievous crime. Religious leaders should give zero tolerance to it and call for a campaign to fumigate our society of those who seek to destroy it through this heinous manner.

However, victims should be encouraged to seek counselling options with professional counsellors, while criminal investigation and subsequent prosecution of perpetrators should be followed up with neck-breaking alacrity. A comprehensive, free medical service should be made available to victims.

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