Do we really understand the effects of rape in a woman?
The recent alleged rape saga between career photographer Busola Dakolo and the general overseer of COZA church, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo has opened my eyes on how Nigerians perceive rape or sexual assault. I noticed many of us blame the woman for the despicable act probably because the accused is a pastor. Are we rape enablers? Our social media comments speaks volumes.
Rape enabling statements like: “touch not my anointed”, “she must have enjoyed it”, “she is too beautiful not to be raped”, “why saying it now”, “it was a consented rape” are totally insensitive and out of place. I thought they said we are a deeply religious country? But why are we like this? A lot of ladies are been raped daily but cannot speak out for fear of becoming the accused instead of the victims. We either know somebody that has been raped or sexually assaulted before or somebody who knows somebody that has been raped. Yet we do take matters of rape serious. Or is it because it has not happened to us or our family members?
Rape simply means a man having sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. It does not have to be forceful. But most times it is. A woman can also rape a man without consent. If you drug her and have sex with her it is still rape. It has no justification, and there is no time frame for reporting a rape case.
Before I write further on today’s main topic of discussion, please take note of the following:
- A man can rape his wife or vice versa
- A father can rape his daughter
- A son can rape his mother or vice versa
- A man can rape a man
- A woman can rape a woman
- A man can rape a prostitute and it is still a crime
- That it happened twice a week does not rule out rape
- A boyfriend can rape his girlfriend or vice versa
- Anybody, irrespective of how highly placed can be accused of rape (deal with it)
- Rape committed 50 years ago can be reported today. It is still a crime and we must take it serious.
- It is not something funny. Don’t joke with it.
- It is crime that is punishable by law or death
- A person can be wrongly accused of rape but it does not mean we should brush allegations of rape aside
- That a girl is beautiful is not an excuse for her to be raped
- Nobody enjoys rape or sexual assault
- That the accused is a pastor, imam, bishop, pope, governor, lawmaker or president does not make it false
In case you don’t know; these are the effects of rape on a woman
Instead of us to support victims of rape to speak up and tell their stories, we are criticizing them and indirectly encouraging sex predators among us. A woman that is raped or sexually assaulted suffers myriad of physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and societal problems than you can imagine.
Read below for more explanation….
Physical effects of rape on the woman
A woman that was raped suffer some physical effects like:
- Vaginal tears/laceration
- Anal tears
- Cervical laceration
- Vesicovaginal fistula
- Difficulty walking
- Breast trauma
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Body pains
- Death from strangulation, traumatic brain injury
- Unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion
- Sexually transmitted transmitted infections like HIV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, warts etc
- Menstrual irregularities or problems
Psychological effects of rape on a woman
These are numerous. The negative side effects on the psychology of a woman are:
- Low self esteem
- Depression- helplessness, hopelessness
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Addiction (to alcohol, substance abuse, sex)
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation
- Sleeping disorders
- Eating disorders
- Feeling of unworthiness
- Trust issues
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social stigma
- Sexual disorders
- Overprotection of children
- Suicide- Remember Ajayi Tokunbo? A one time of face of NTA and a career woman who later committed suicide in 2000 leaving a suicide note that she could not bear the pain and stigma.
- Life long pains and sorrows
- Marital problems
- Drop out from school
- Some rape victims take to crime
And finally, sexual assault and rape are serious crimes motivated by a need to control, humiliate and harm. If a victim does not fight back does not mean consent.