I will try to make this less like an educational or formal discourse and more like a communicative and expressive piece.
Rape is simply having sex with one without the person’s consent whether a male or a female. Sexual activities ought to be consensual between the two individuals involved and yea children are not considered to be capable of giving consent so you can’t escape the wrath of the law by saying a kid gave consent.
Now rape looks so straightforward to define and to comprehend in a normal social parlance so you might wonder why first, the victims do not simply speak up about what has been done to them and second why most rape cases in the court do not end up in favor of the victim.
So I will start with the first. You really cannot blame victims for not speaking up because of the society we live in. Specifically I am talking from the perspective of the lady. Now there is a sort of shame and stigma that the society puts on rape victims, like they have been defiled and made unclean, especially in Africa. As if that stigma is not enough, most times when the lady speaks up they end up looking for ways to blame her. They talk about how she must have seduced the guy, how the clothes she wore were revealing or how she consented and is now playing the victim. The society is quick to blame the lady regardless of the emotional and psychological and even physical torture she must have suffered. So often times the victims prefer to just keep quiet and heal on their own and the rapist end up walking free.
Men also get raped. Yes they do and its not funnier or easier to deal with. Men hardly talk also because of the society and what people will say. Its almost shameful to them that they were overpowered whether by a man or a woman, there is a lot of ego issue involved so they end up keeping to themselves. Another thing is how difficult it is to prove that a man has been raped. I mean except some real force and fighting and struggle was involved, how do you prove anything. And how do you prove it was not consensual. Men get aroused and all very fast, so its easy to claim the man was very involved in the sex, all these things just makes men very silent on rape which ought not to be.
You know the part I hate the most? The part where some stupid persons actually blame a child for getting raped and say a five year old or nine year old girl seduced a grown ass man or woman!
The law however is a different ball game, it works on evidence and evidence in rape is sometimes almost impossible especially in situations where there was no struggle. I will explain further.
Now the ingredients for proving rape are basically first a lack of consent and then penetration. Lack of consent could mean threat, could mean force and some other things but the bottom line is that there was no consent. Penetration means the obvious, that the penis was actually inserted into the vagina. There might be other things to be considered but these are the basic and general ones.
Let’s just think normally for a moment, how do you get evidence that there was no consent when most often than not its just the two of you? Most times when people hear of rape they think only of someone taking you from the streets, tearing your clothes, leaving loads of marks on your skin and then bruising the vagina sore. Those ones are quite easy to prove most especially of its reported immediately, the appearance and all shows the obvious lack of consent and the bruises in the vagina can show penetration.
But really, not all rape situations are that clear cut, some are by known people, some are done with threat, some they do not ejaculate inside the vagina and they actually get the lady or man aroused. Some have no force whatsoever, no tearing of clothes and all. These are the cases that are difficult to prove but sometimes lawyers work their way around it or get really lucky for one evidence or the other to come up.
Rape is never easy to prove except in some circumstances that are usually not as common as people think.
My point here is that the work of some lawyers would have been made easier with help from victims. Rape is a traumatic incidence but if you are going to seek for justice, there are some things that need to be done fast and on time.
First is to report immediately and don’t wait to wash off before reporting, go the way you are,call for help the way you are because really your whole body is evidence, your clothes, semen on your body, everything counts. You do not know what might eventually nail the rapist so drop everything.
Second don’t try to even be modest about what happened or be shy, give every detail, paint the situation such that even a child can understand. It has happened and the pain will always be there so why not just get justice for your pain.
Third, after the part of talking to the authorities, talk to someone or people that can help you heal from the emotional and psychological trauma. Definitely, in getting to the authorities you would be taken to a doctor, they would most likely give you pills and all and treat you too but you know the pain is deeper than what the doctor can treat. Don’t bottle up the pain and anger, talk to people. There are organizations that help with these kind of things and will help you heal psychologically. The truth is what you bottle up now will affect you later so don’t keep it in.
Fourth, really and honestly, withdrawing from everyone might seem like the best option at the time but it doesn’t really help. In fact it never helps, more than ever at this period you need people. The more you withdraw, the more you give room for depression and constant replay of the incidence. You need to get past it and withdrawing would not help.
Finally and this is something that is not really compulsory but would help a whole lot and that is reaching out and helping other victims. Some others out there need help, they do not what to do, they are passing through what you passed through so why don’t you come out of your shell and bless someone else.
Then I believe so much in the help of God. I believe when things are beyond you and even before they are beyond you the best help you have is God because He knows all. So just try to pray and talk to him because he can help more than any human can and make you brand new.
Rape is never a funny or easy thing but we can get through it with patience and conscious efforts to heal.