RAPE- the words of a concerned Nigerian teenager. Brilliant piece!
I’m writing this letter to share my opinion regarding Sunday’s sermon(12/ 04/2015). When the pastor first came in, I was very excited because I had listened to him preach in the past and I really enjoyed his sermon. However, on Sunday, I left church infuriated. I wouldn’t say that I did not learn anything new though because I did. To be honest, for the first time in a while I actually went home with something. For that, I am truly grateful.
This letter is to express the reason why I was infuriated. Aside from that, it think this letter is long overdue. This issue has been plaguing my mind ever so often and last Sunday was the peak of my frustration. I finally decided to let it out.
It all started last year when Pastor Clement gave a sermon. I’m not sure what the topic or theme was, but what I do remember was how he started and ended the sermon. I remember that very well. He started by telling us a story about a girl. I do not remember it word for word but I will summarize it. It was about a girl, who was friends with a boy, a boy who she trusted. To the girls they were no more than friend but to the boy they were something else. So, one day when the girls guard was down and they were alone. He RAPED her.
What is Rape: Unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.
Then Pastor Clement went on and continued to preach. He made comments about how God loves a virtues women. He went on and on about how women need to keep their virginity. In my head, I just wondered; “what about a virtuous boy”? Doesn’t God care about whether men are virgins or not? Is it because you can tell when a female has lost it, but you can’t for a male? Or in some cases, she gets pregnant and brings shame on her family and those around her, is it the shame we are running away from? As if that stain society attaches with teen pregnancy or the hymen being ruptured, wasn’t noticeable, it wouldn’t matter at all. Anyway, he ended the sermon by saying that, he was sure if the girl had drawn a line and not gotten so close to him or had not trusted him so much, he wouldn’t have raped her. He said it as if he had just found the answer as to why people get RAPED.
Let me tell you about a topic called RAPE CULTURE. What does this mean?
Rape culture is blaming the victim rather than rapist for the assault, and saying that the victim did something to provoke the attack. Rape culture teaches women to not get raped, rather than teaching men not to rape. Rape culture involves sympathizing with the rapist. Rape culture is dangerous because it leads to the victim not speaking out about the rape, and the rapists therefore not getting in trouble. About half of rapes are being reported and only 3% of rapists spend at least one day in jail. Rape culture is when the victims are blamed for “asking for it” by wearing the wrong clothes, being out at night, walking alone, being flirtatious or pretty, or any number of other things.
Let me get back to Sunday’s preaching. The topic was “Things that we die for”. He listed 10 things that “teenagers” die for and explained how we do. He talked about sex, pride, fashion, food, drugs and alcohol, bulling, sleep and laziness and acceptance.(BTW it wasn’t up to ten).A lot of what he said I agreed with, but what really got me angry was when he said the following things:
If you dress slutty you should expect to get raped; he didn’t say this specifically but he suggested it when he asked us whether we would buy a torn indomie pack. We all said no. Then he said that we would probably give them to the dogs. He then said that it is the torn indomie pack that some females decide to wear. He said and I quote “when you wear such clothes, how do you not expect to be raped” He did not once mention teen boys in this matter.
I constantly wonder what era adults live in or whether they are not up to date with issues like this. It is funny how you guys still assume that immodest dressing, is still the number one cause of rape and that not getting close or saying no or drawing a line will stop both females or males from getting raped. Studies shows that rapist like it more when there is resistance, so drawing a line will simply not cut it. In this modern word, babies get raped, 6 year olds get raped. For God’s sake, I heard about a bunch of teen boys raping a 90 year old woman. Are you trying to tell me that it was because of what she was wearing?
It’s so upsetting that I can’t walk on the street without that constant fear or having to watch my back because someone may just rape. Or I can’t go out alone or I can’t trust any male because who know what is on his mind. Girls my age can’t even walk the streets without getting called at or cat called. Yet instead of blaming the guilty party we blame the girl. We ask her, why did you wear this? Why were you there? Why did you trust him? Why? Why? Why? like it was their faulty and they were asking for it. I do not care, whether the person is completely naked or not, she/he does not deserve to be defiled in such a manner. It’s like you guys don’t understand the gravity of rape and the effect it has on its victims.
He said the bible says, if how females dress causes men to sin then it is our fault .So it would be better for us to commit suicide than feel the wrath of God. (Not quoting). So if I go out alone on a sunny day wearing shorts and some pervert can’t control his thoughts and rapes me, it’s my fault because the way I dressed caused his to sin. We need to stop teaching the girls to dress in a particular way so as not to get raped or draw negative attention to herself but because as a Christian she should dress appropriately. More importantly, we strongly need to start teaching the boys to control their eyes and thoughts.
He talked about how males don’t normally have the courage to approach girls. I find this odd because teen males don’t have the courage to approach girls but they have the courage to rape them.
When he talked about pride. He used a girl being raped and killed by three boys,to teach us not to be proud. In a way justifying what they did and supporting the notion that, if she wasn’t proud she wouldn’t have gotten rapped. Again we blame the victim.
Rapists are roaming our street and instead on focusing on them, terminating the source, we focus on the victim. It’s sad how some people can’t even trust their father, uncles, and cousins because a lot of people have been raped my family members. Some people can’t even dress comfortably in their own houses, does that even sound fair to you. We are suffering because no one has the courage to address the real culprits of this matter.
People in our generation do not understand the gravity of rape. They make jokes, they say nasty things, they slut-shame (the act of making, or attempting to make, a person, especially a woman or girl, feel guilty or inferior for certain sexual circumstances) rape victims, they speak of rape as a punishment for a promiscuity and may more things. They speak about it so carelessly. They make comments like “if you are raped and you ugly, you shouldn’t be reporting to the police, you should be saying thank you”.
Rape is far greater than what you all think; you don’t understand it, I don’t to, that’s why people speak of it without care;
““It’s the process of being minimized, invalidated, and silenced. It’s the process of being subjected to whatever someone else thinks I owe them. It’s the process of being used, examined, explored, and thrown away. It’s the process of being convinced/forced to comply with the orders of someone who does not see me as their equal, someone who sees nothing wrong with the notion that I’m somehow lesser than they are. Rape isn’t only about sex; it’s about all those other things. It’s about power.”
Quote by Agnostic Zetetic
No one understands how it affect the victim,
Victims experience both short and long-term psychological effects of rape. One of the most common psychological consequences of rape is self-blame. Victims use self-blame as an avoidance-based coping tool. Self-blame slows or, in many cases, stops the healing process. Other common emotional and psychological effects of rape include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – feelings of severe anxiety and stress
- Flashbacks – memories of rape as if it is taking place again
- Borderline personality disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders
- Dissociation identity disorder
- Distrust of others – uneasy in everyday social situations
- Feelings of personal powerlessness – victims feel the rapist robbed them of control over their bodies and much more. Why would anybody want this?
Regarding what the preacher said about girls being more promiscuous than boys,
Yes, teen boys are more sexually active than girls. In a relationship you would find the boyfriend pestering the girlfriend for sex, rather than the other way around. Girls may be more hormonal, but the difference between us and them is that, majority of us can control it. We don’t have to make others suffer for our sexual urges.
There was a time when before you could start a conversation with a boy for the first time, they would first ask whether you gave or not. Majority of boys asked that. Not because I’m promiscuous. It’s because they see us as sexual beings, object, only alive to satisfy their insatiable sexual fantasies.
It’s time we stop supporting RAPE CULTURE and accept the fact that people don’t get raped because they dressed inappropriately. People don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. People do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. People do not get raped because they asked for it or because they didn’t draw a line. People get raped because someone raped them.
RAPE IS NOT A JOKE AND NO ONE DESERVES.
This is just my opinion.
mrsceonaija says no to rape too. Spread the news, protect the girl child!