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We Need To Open The Eyes Of Our Youths To The Pain Rape Victims Go Through.” – Senator Oduah

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” It is in no way ideal that a woman should be made a double victim; a victim of rape and a victim of slander.”
Senator Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah OON.

Fellow Nigerians,

It is with a heavy heart that I speak to you today. Amidst the danger and issues that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained strong in our hope that this, too, will pass. However, I feel it pressed upon me to speak up in the face of the burgeoning issue that has travailed us and continues to travail us. This need is borne not just out of the fact that I am a woman and a mother, but most of all, because I am human and my humanity bewails the dark pit we are fast descending into.

My heart was torn from me at the news of the rape and death of Miss Vera Omozuwa and even more by the gory pictures of her, and I could only imagine the pain and suffering she went through before her eventual demise. Days ago, the news of the rape and subsequent murder of Bakarat in Oyo state reached us as well.

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Unfortunately, things like this happen and continue to happen in Nigeria. These cases are but two in the face of thousands, if not millions of girls and women who have had to suffer such pain at the hands of monsters who bat no eyelid in trading their lives for minutes of pleasure. It is even more disheartening to think that those who commit this dastardly act walk the streets unchecked. It is even worse for survivors who have to relive the horror of their encounter every day of their life.

Statistics show that 8 out of every ten women have been sexually assaulted, and It is not right that every woman and girl should walk around on God’s green earth with the fear that every man she encounters may be a threat. It is not right that every woman or girl should become wary of her teacher, friend, classmate, acquaintance, uncle, brother, and even father as has sadly been proven to be the case. It should not be the case that when a woman is raped, we as a society start asking questions as to what she wore and what purpose took her to the place where she was raped. It is in no way ideal that a woman should be made a double victim; a victim of rape and a victim of slander. It is not fair that a woman should suffer stigma for the act which she never wanted to happen, while the perpetrator walks free unscathed. It is also true that men get sexually assaulted too but in all of these scenarios, it is the woman, who is mostly the victim who comes out worse for it.

This must stop. We must do better. We have to do better. As a country and as human beings, we need to join hands and rid our society of this abominable malady which has plagued us for years. We need to learn, unlearn and relearn in order to be better equipped. We need to do away with bias towards victims. We need to inculcate values such as restraint, respecting personal boundaries and seeking consent. We need to educate our children on the need to respect and honor the human body. We need to open the eyes of our youths to the pain rape victims go through. We need to enforce stricter sanctions on the undesirable elements who would go ahead to foment these terrible acts on hapless victims, and we must also teach the importance of consent.

Since 1973, Nigeria has had only 65 convicted rape cases. 32 took place before 2015, while 33 was after 2015 and at this rate, Rape will not stop. We need to put our feet down and start reporting rape cases. We should educate ourselves and know that victim blaming is not the way to go as a society. We ought to encourage and put in more effort to bring rapists to book.

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In as much as there are laws in place, there may be a need to revisit them to ensure their provisions are adequate and I shall be exploring this option with a view to instituting a register for offenders and promulgating more strident laws to punish and deter evil individuals.

I also wish to call upon our law enforcement agents to intensify the efforts to bring perpetrators of this evil to book.

We have a lot to do and we must start now.


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Senator Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah OON (OMU)
Vice Chairman,
Senate Committee On Appropriation.

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