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The suicide of that rape victim

In case you missed it, we've been allowed a glimpse into what remains of the life of every female victim of sexual assault. If before now you were beset by curiosity as regards their disposition to life afterwards, your puzzle need not be prolonged for a statement to that effect has been made- an eloquent one for that matter! Yet, for those who have been indifferent to the scourge of rape, it is hoped that the statement made will make them feel different.

It should all the more dawn on the perpetrators, who do not reason beyond their lustful quest to disengage the heat in their groin, that the binge of violation they effect is a stroke that makes their preys prefer to inhabit the great beyond! Further compounding this absurd preference is the society that instead of providing succour, choose to be vindictive as if the victims are the initiators.

Those who are strong enough, bar all odds to live through the nightmare. Yet, no matter how intrepid they get about it, that urge to end it all never ceases to rear its head from time to time. This is because of the eternal scar our subject-matter bequests on anyone unfortunate enough to be a casualty coupled with how they are treated by us all.

Even as they live with it, their perception of men, romance and relationship get poisoned, such that they fail to believe in love as the force that attracts men to ladies. Instead, they see all advances whether filial or amorous as driven by lust. A survey of commercial sex workers would readily reveal that many of them were led into prostitution by the sexual assault earlier carried out on them, ditto for unapologetic lesbians.

Ladies and gentlemen, pardon me for devoting today's column to this awful practice that has assumed a life in our country and that can now be officially said to consume lives as well. There may be other burning national matters which you think are more deserving of today's space, nonetheless, it cannot but be spared to be used in talking about that abrupt moment of ecstasy which has turned debauched men into dogs going about in search of weaker vessels to get defiled.

We should be incensed to give attention to this menace following the death of 18-year old Janet in Bayelsa state who last Wednesday was confirmed by the police to have hung herself. This happened barely a week after she was gang-raped by three men. Reports say the rapists forced her at gun point into an uncompleted building where they committed the act. According to family sources, Janet, who was on an errand for her elder sister when the incident happened, got so "sad and devastated" afterwards.

But, who wouldn't be? I'm sure not even call-girls would be pleased to experience this, let alone a lass who may have been reserving her virginity for the right person. She must have resisted every entreaty for her to give away her pride from puberty stage only for her to be raped at age 18. Even if she had lost it, the ordeal of having three men sexually come upon a lady without her consent is one evil that no humane person would wish her worst rival.

Verily, three men cannot forcefully have canal knowledge of a lady in quick succession and not leave her traumatised. Those who get raped by individual males who overpowered them feel so bitter about it, not to take of a young lady whose sexual organ was forced to host three men at a time. But, do the rapists give a hoot? No, they don't! For all that matters is their libido which must be satisfied.

Yet, it isn't as if the satisfaction they derive will last them a lifetime to warrant their throwing caution to the wind. Instead, the pleasure is so short-lived that minutes after they must have climaxed, the urge returns with greater intensity leaving them with no option but to go in search of another prey. What a miserable life to live! In as much as they make life miserable for their preys, they should know that themselves wallow in greater misery. Something akin to the jailer and his inmates.

Yet, this misery precedes the birth pangs for their comeuppance goes beyond that into one that not even life imprisonment can equate. Given that we have a case of Janet's suicide being remotely caused by their horrendous hobby, then should they expect a recompense that transcends them to their generations yet unborn. For it used to be said that the evil that men do lives after them, but may I intimate you that it has changed to: the evil that men do lives with and after them!

I just hope that rapists knew this much before they embarked on their evil act. Assuming they know not, morality and conscience should have refrained them from desecrating their hapless victim to the extent that she would hang herself thereafter. But, we are talking of depraved persons with a dead conscience and to whom morals mean nothing more than just another word.

It was Amit Abraham who once said, “The punishment for rape should be castration." This seems to be a plausible punishment for the offence since it would prevent rapists from having progeny who would suffer for a curse they know nothing about. But I'm afraid this can't obtain here considering the ineptitude of our police. How do you castrate a rapist who is perpetually at large?

There have been countless reported and unreported cases of rape in this part of the world with most of the perpetrators going 'scot free'. Alas, they aren't free. They and theirs are bound by their unjust act of defiling those who are innocent thereby subjecting them to self-slaughter. The rapists should better surrender themselves to be castrated so that they, their offspring and girls generally would have respite.

Considering the dark clouds that the rape (and subsequent deaths) of victims attracts to those involved in the iniquity, one wonders why rapists won't just marry so that they can rape their wives as they so desire. At least, that would have been safer than putting everyone including themselves in harms way.

This is not to say we don't have married men who still engage in the rape of susceptible girls. Such men should not be surprised when their daughters or wives become victims as well. In fact, we should pray for that to be their lot so that they can have a taste of their medicine. Since rapists usually operate in the dark, they may eventually turn out to be those who would inadvertently rape their daughters. And that is very very possible!

The prognosis of the spokesman for Bayelsa police command, Mr Alex Akhigbe, suggests that stigmatization played a major part in the suicide of the deceased. In his words: “I believe the deceased decided to hang herself due to the attendant shame and stigmatisation she experienced after the rape incident.”

This is an indictment on those of us who treat rape victims as lepers. From where I'm standing, persons like this are no better than the rapists. Hence, somebody should tell them to first remove the speck in their eyes before attempting to remove the log from those of rapists or the victims. The truth is that it is such people who make rape cases to grow in leaps.

They do this by giving victims a reason not to tell anyone about their harrowing experience. And when they keep this to themselves, those who commit the crime escape the wrath of the law, thus allowing them go about their distasteful pastime unperturbed. It's one circle that starts and ends with the set of people who love victimising victims of rape.

Now that we have established how they are culpable, the holier-than-thou judges should not close their ears to this screaming statement that Janet's suicide is sounding. They should better give up their inconsiderate stance to allow us treat this rape headache squarely. Their adding more load to the already heavy-laden victims of rape reeks of sheer wickedness.

Finally, we all should do our best in curbing this rape menace that is spoiling to overrun our society. We should strive to abort incidences of rape whenever and wherever we smell it. Also, we should not fail to empathise with the victims. It's imperative for us not to muzzle this final statement from Janet like her harriers silenced her while they took advantage of her. If we do, we'll basically be casting ourselves in the same mould with the rapists.

You can follow me on twitter via @ugsylvester and reach me through [email protected]

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Articles by Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi