These past few months, I have experienced serious irritation over shocking reports of cases of rape and child defilement. But our laid back approach in dealing with the cases confuses me more.
I don't consider cases of child defilement as rape. I believe it is worse. An adult can expressly deny consent. An adult can put up a fight and might succeed in fleeing. But a child is helpless and vulnerable. A kid doesn't understand consent, cannot give consent, or deny it.
As a civilized people, how have we been able to condone this evil-doing? We adopt religion and culture as modes of validating the defilement of the girl-child. We ignore their silent screams. Why do we protect these monsters called rapist in our society? Why is it impossible to end such an occurrence? Why can we not make those guilty of these crimes pay severely?
The number of rape cases from January 2020 to July 2020 is alarming and very worrisome. I hear cases of how a 33 years old uncle defiled his 8 months old niece. 75% of cases of rape reported have children between the ages of 2 months old to 11 years as victims. A UNICEF report states that the number of child brides in Africa will rise to 310 million in the next 30 years. Many of those girls, the report concludes, are in Nigeria.
Under section 2-4 of the sexual offence bill, the punishment for defiling a child between the ages of 0 month and 18 years is life imprisonment. Under section 31(1) and (2) of the child's right act, the penalty for defiling and raping a child is life imprisonment. These laws are even yet to be fully implemented in all the 36 states of the country, including the FCT. Why?
Children rapist and defilers should be kept away perpetually from our society or eliminated. And the trials and conviction should attract massive media publicity, to guarantee other victims that justice will be served. It will also serve as a deterrence to a prospective child rapist. I'm sure it would stimulate our laws to become more effective. We shouldn't let this matter die. Something fast needs to be done.
In conclusion, I strongly believe and of the opinion that there should be stiffer punishment for child rapist in Nigeria.
My advice to male adults, please negotiate your sexual urges with fellow adults, get their consent and allow our children to enjoy the peace of childhood.
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