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Applied Worldwide contributor Hassan Idris writes about same-sex marriage, justice, and Nigeria

An Analytical-Criminological Analysis of the Rape Cases in Nigeria

Rape is a heinous act and criminal offence both in the Criminal law and Penal code. It’s seen from the Criminal law as a felony. It’s also a felony in Criminology. There’s no excuse for raping anybody. There are stipulated punishments for those who have committed felonies (rapists, murderers etc).

The offence of rape is the 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 false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in the case of a married woman, by impersonating her husband. It may be stated differently by saying that rape, means a forcible sexual intercourse with a girl or woman without her giving her consent to it (PETER-ODILI, J.C.A).

The Nigerian law has not defined and recognized that a woman can rape a man. A man can’t take a woman to court of law for rape, but can for another offense different such as sexual harassment or theft. It’s a man who is legally defined and recognized as raping a woman not a woman raping a man. This doesn’t mean men are not been raped. Men can be victims of rape too just like a woman can be a victim of rape. But, importantly, two thirds of rape cases are perpetrated by men. Some women use the previllage given to them by the law to rape some men, children and aged men. Surely, if six women should get hold of a man they would definitely press him down and rape him. However, It’s lawful to demand justice for victims of rape but, it’s unlawful to be justice-biased and sex-biased when demanding for justice. 

Most people fail to differentiate between gender and sex. Especially in Nigerian society where our customs, cultures and norms influence to see sex and gender as same thing, but to be more sociological, sex and gender are two different things. Sex is someone’s biological predisposition of being male, female, or intersex but gender is a social construction. For example, society constructs ideas of gender to allocate certain roles to a men and women. This distinction is important for my use of the language of “sex-biased.”

Rape is a crime against humanity and it’s not sex-biased in practice, so why then should we be justice-biased and sex-biased when it comes to clamouring for justice for victims of rape? No man will be gladdened and happy seeing his mother, sister and daughter being raped. Women are our mothers and we love them very much. The same goes for any woman too—she would not be gladdened seeing her husband or son being raped. Men are our fathers and we love them very much. But, the truth is that in the house of a white sheep there’s always a black sheep. To the rapist, rape is a minute pleasure but a life time distruction to the victims. How do these beasts in a human clothing enjoy the pleasure of having a carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent, or with forced consent?

Anyone who rapes another man’s daughter or son, surely his daughter or grand daughter or grand son shall be raped too. What goes around comes around. The law of nature!

Well, every rape case should have a reason. In Nigeria, these reasons are discussed as: indecent dressings, ritualism, poor sexual orientations, bad companies, drug abuse, psychological problems and many more. Indecent dressing has been one of the factors discussed for rape throughout history, however, we shouldn’t hold to only one factor to be the cause of rape, it’s advisably we approach it holistically. As sociologists, we should encourage holism in studying social problems. One might argued that if indecent dressing is the cause of rape, why are some women in veils, little children, aged women and many more rape victims? Well, you see, indecent dressing alone is not enough to justify rape, and it’s not only the cause of rape but among the factors for rape. Rapists have their reasons for rapes, and we should look to rapists for the cause of rape rather than victims.

However, there are several cases where victims of crime are the cause of their own victimization. In Criminology there’s what’s called victimology; where there’s aid victimization and apex victimization. Aid victimization is a situation where a victim aids his or her own victimization. Example is dressing indecently or decently and working at dangerous areas at night. Apex victimization is where a victim is innocent and does not contributed to his or her own victimization. For example, a two year old baby raped by a man of forty years etc. Also, biologically weak victims who can’t defend themselves mentally and psychologically such as children, aged people, or people with mental disabilities. 

There’s also victim typology such as precipitative victims, biologically weak victims, socio-economically weak victims, self-victimized victims, political victims, unrelated victims and provocative victims. My focus will be on provocative victims. These are victims that are not innocent; in one way or the other, they contributed to their own victimization. For instance, a lady dressing half naked and enters boys hostels at night. What does she wants if not to be victimized. Also, a boy entering girls hostels at night. But all this being said, someones dress does not justify rape. Rapist should be dealt with and should be given swift and severe punishments as postulated by Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria of the Utilitarian school of Criminology ,so as to deter others from committing such heinous acts and reduce crime recidivism.

Some rapists rape due to indecent dressings, pleasures, some for money rituals, satanism and voodism. You don’t expect a rapist to rape a child of two years, five years and above or even aged women of eighty years and above or a decently dressed lady. But, for the facts that indecent dressing alone isn’t enough reason for rape doesn’t mean we should forget our morals, values and many more just because we are fighting for justice for rape victims. We shouldn’t campaign for indecent dressing because we’re clamouring for justice. Even the law won’t back us on that. For better or for worse, we can’t divorce morality from the law.

However, those who study the sociology of law should have more ideas on law and morality. Decent dress is our morality and our morality goes with our cultures, customs and traditions as Nigerians. It’s not only rape victims who demand justice, but humanity at large. Humanity is gradually loosing it’s values; values for one another; values for women, men, etc. Satanism is taking the world gradually. This fight for justice and struggle against rape should be a general fight which should not be sex-biased.

Finally, some so called feminists with their western ideologies are trying much more to create sex-biased to rape and other criminal acts, just to achieve their own selfish interests. The fact is that it’s not only the female sex who are raped but all sexes. So, we should demand justice for all by making sure our laws are not sex-biased and support all victims regardless of their sex. The law is not only for the feminist or for the women and men alone. It’s for all sundry.

Hassan Idris

Hassan Idris is a final year student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria -Nigeria, studying Sociology and Anthropology. He is a poet, a member of the Creative writer's Club, A. B. U Zaria, Creative Club Gombe State University, Northern writer's Summit, Risingyouth and Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation. His works has appeared in Zdigest, Yodelehub. Com, Kano State Students magazine, and Creative Writer's Club, Kongo Campus, A. B. U Zaria. He received an Award from the department of Sociology and Anthropology Ahmadu Bello University Zaria , Nigeria as the best researcher in 2017. You can connect with Hassan Idris on Twitter and LinkedIn.