Almost every single day we hear,and read news headlines of all sorts of rape incident, which is very disheartening and absolutely despicable.
In ordinary context rape can be seen as forcefully having sex with someone against his/her wish or will, especially using violence. A close analysis of this incidents shows that Over 90% of predatory sex is perpetrated by males against females. .
There is no age limit regarding rape as children, babies, adolescents, matured adults, mothers, grandmothers, and women of over 70 years are being raped or defiled recklessly. Rape, generally speaking, is an infringement on the rights of individuals, particularly children and could amount to gross violation of child rights.
MEANING OF RAPE
Rape according to Wikipedia means a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person's consent.
The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent. The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.
Coming down to the Nigerian Context under the Criminal Code section 357 and Penal Code section 282 both provide for the offence of rape. Section 357 of the Criminal Code states that – any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act or in the case of a married woman, by impersonating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape.
The actus reus of rape is having unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman or man who at the time of the intercourse does not consent to it. While the mens rea is an intention to have sexual intercourse with a woman knowing that she does not consent to the act. The offence of rape embodies society’s view of what is right and wrong in sexual relations. The guiding principle is that this judgement on what is right and wrong should be based on an assessment of the harm done to the individual (and through the individual to society as a whole).
In Nigeria we read headlines in these contexts
· How police corporal raped a 12 year-old- girl
· Heavily Tattooed Convict Charged With Raping Fiancée's 12 Year Old Daughter
· Phone Records As 65 Year Old HIV+ Grandad Rapes His Granddaughter.
This rape cases are pitiable, and can have these effects on the victims:
· Psychological impact
In Nigeria we have existing laws that punish offenders as provided in criminal code act sections as follows:
358. Any person who commits the offence of rape is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.
359. Any person who attempts to commit the offence of rape is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without caning.
360. Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a woman or girl is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
361. Any person who, with intent to marry or carnally know a female of any age, or to cause her to be married, or carnally known by any other person, takes her away, or detains her, against her will, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
362. Any person who unlawfully takes an unmarried girl under the age of sixteen years out of the custody or protection of her father or mother or other person having the lawful care or charge of her, and against the will of such father or mother or other person, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
It is advisable that we always look out for the vulnerable ones in our society in other curb this rape menace, anyone can be a victim. We all must put our hands on deck, to ensure that these unfortunate incidents is reduced to the barest minimum.
I will be bringing you possible ways to curb this menace and reforms in due course.
SERVING YOUR INTEREST TO THE UTMOST