The rape pandemic is amplified every day and yet our government and the judicial system put in little or no effort to pass the necessary actions to bring perpetrators to justice, and support to victims of gender-based violence. Survivors of sexual violence are often left to the inhumanity and stigmatization of the society, creating an unsafe environment for the victims of gender-based violence. While on the other hand, creating a safe place and space for predators to thrive, making them feel comfortable in the violence they perpetuate and the zeal to create more atrocities.
Victim blaming, victim shaming, stigmatizing and dehumanizing the victims rather than the perpetrators only provides cover for rapists to continue on their prowl, in Nigeria, it is one of the strongest held beliefs and practices. Reputed to be one of the most unsafe countries for women in the world, Nigeria has happened in recently been recording high rates of rape and other sexual related violence.
Our attitudes about gender, the policies we support in nation-building, and beliefs we hold unto in our societies all cumulatively make up the level of social justice is faced by women and children. Today, the ‘rape culture’ manifests daily only because victims share their experience via social media which leads to loud increased public outrage. But outrage without deliberate action will always amount to nothing, which is exactly what we had been doing in the past.
But we can change that, and we must change that for every day provides us with a new opportunity change, an opportunity for us to examine our behaviors and belief systems to be sure we are not unconsciously encouraging ‘rape culture’ and allowing it to fester in our society. We need to put in the necessary policies and structures that penalize perpetrators that will adequately demonstrate zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
As a leader in gender and child rights advocacy, Sheroes.ng is dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of Nigerian women and children. Which is why we are leading a campaign calling on the UN to prevail on the Nigerian leadership to create support and safe spaces for victims of rape and sexual violence, and also ensure persecution of rapists.
Join us in this campaign to bring an end to rape and sexual violence in Nigeria. Lend your voice to the cause. Sign the petition.