Rape is when a person intentionally penetrates anothers vigina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other persons consent.
Assault by penetration is when a person intentionally penetrates anothers vigina or anus with any part of the body other than a penis, or by using an object, without the other persons consent. Under the law section 357 & 358 of the criminal code defines rape as "having 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 threat or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false act, or in case of a married woman, be person acting her husband :'this offence is punishable by imprisonment for life, with or without caning.
Note: in all the laws, status, textbooks journals and judicial pronucement before one can be accuse of rape, these ingredients must be present
1.) lack of consent
2.) there must be penetration
Rape and sexual assault are serious crimes against the dignity and sexual autonomy of the next person. Every individual has the right and choice to make informed decisions about their sexual conduct and also to respect the right and dignity of others. We can see from the legislation above that consent is a predominant factor when it comes to offence if rape and sexual assault. We can also note that section 1 of the violence Against persons prohibition Act is quite progressive as it provisions for both male and female sexual offenders with regards to the prosecution and conviction of sexual offenders, it is unbelievable that despite the prevalence of rape and sexual violence in our society, there have been only 18 reported conviction in Nigeria till date. It goes to show that a lot of people are ignorant of the law, it shows that rape has become normalized to the point that survivors do not feel the need to report. It also shows that there is little or no belief in the justice system.
IN order for us to have an increase in the rate of prosecution and conviction of sexual offenders there is need to be in advocacy. Survivors need to be aware of their rights as citizens, they need to know that justice can be achieved and that the perpetrator can be punished for this crime
Note: it is important to note that rape can happen to anyone but it is never the fault of the survivor. It does not matter what she was wearing, where she was or what she was doing - it is always the fault of the perpetrator/rapist as rape is a conscious decision.
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