Sexual Violence Against Women in Nigeria Since 2010: Issues and Problems
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific objectives are:
- To give an overview on the situation of sexual violence against women in Nigeria.
- Examine the implications of sexual violence on the victims in Nigeria.
- Ascertain if there exist any measures put in place to reduce and conquer sexual violence against women in Nigeria.
- Proffer solutions to the issue and problem of sexual violence against women in Nigeria
ISSUES AND PROBLEMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN NIGERIA
My father’s brother raped me on and off for six years (Anthonia Ojenagbon)
My name is Anthonia Ojenagbon. My horror story began in 1992 when I was 12 years old. I was sent to stay at my uncle’s (my father’s brother) in Lagos by my parents because they could not afford to train us all. Of course I was very happy that I was coming to Lagos, but that joy was to turn sour and remain so all my adolescent years. The first night (shortly after I arrived) it could have passed for a dream, except that I felt strongly it was real. I felt a hand grope my body; touch my nipples and then my vagina. I was scared because it was dark and couldn’t fathom who could be doing such to me. And because I came from a strong Deeper Life Christian family where sex was never mentioned, speaking of someone touching my genital was something I could not fathom. In fact, the first feeling was shock, that anyone could actually touch my genital. That night passed and the hand kept coming every night until after about a week, when he finally penetrated me. Still, I thought it was a monster, until one day, when my uncle came to threaten me that ‘If you ever tell anyone what is going on in this house, I will kill you.’ Never in my wildest dream did I think it could have been him, because he was my favourite uncle and I loved him dearly. Apparently, he thought I knew. He also told me my mother, being a strong Christian, would never believe me. And I believed him. Really, it was a story hardly believable. Of course I bled that first time, but his wife thought it was my period and gave me a sanitary pad. Even now, I cannot explain how his wife never knew, even though we all slept in a one-room apartment and both of them slept on the same bed. If she knew or suspected but didn’t say anything, I honestly cannot tell. So many things happened then that I still cannot explain – like never getting pregnant all through. Anyway, he started having sex with me, regularly after deflowering me and I really cannot count how many times he raped me. I became like his alternative sex option, and it continued for six whole years – off and on, until I was 18. Whenever he travelled, I was fine, but once he was around, I was not fine. Following that first penetration, I felt I had done something wrong and blamed myself. As a Christian girl, my mother had told me that keeping myself as a virgin was like the best gift I could give my future husband; so I felt a treasure had been taken from me. I felt very useless and worthless. He definitely played on my naivety because telling anybody didn’t even occur to me. I didn’t know anything about sexual abuse or that I could take action against him.
My Deeper Life church background kept me deep in innocence. Our lives revolved around church and we hardly talked to people who were not our church members. My father, though a military man, was zonal coordinator before he died and as I speak, my mom is a national women leader in Rivers State. In fact, I thought such was happening to me because God hated me.
Research Methodology here refers to the techniques for collecting the relevant information regarding the areas of the research questions of the study for the purpose of verifying them. According to Srindhar (2009), Research Method is the behavior and instruments in selecting and constructing technique. Thus, this section is designed to acquaint us with research design, various sources which data was collected in this study, the different methods employed for data collection and analysis.
The research interest focuses on sexual violence against women in Nigeria since 2010: Issues and problems. Giving the broad nature of this study and difficulty anticipated especially during this COVID19 time, the researcher in this regard employs to use books, journal, article etc. The studies are exploratory and descriptive in nature and use both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, thereby giving the study analytical rigor. Therefore, research questions guiding this study were adopted into an analytical framework that helped answer questions in the most effective way possible, based on the assumption.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This Chapter presents data collected from secondary sources. The data is presented and analyzed in accordance with the research questions stated in chapter one, which are aimed at assessing sexual violence against women in Nigeria since 2010: issues and problems.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter presents what was previously discussed in the research work as a whole. It draws conclusion and make recommendations on the subject matter.
The study is structured into five chapters; each chapter discussed a particular aspect of the work.
Chapter one, the introduction included the following: statement of the problem, objectives and significance of the study, research questions/Basic Assumptions, as well as the statement of the problem, furthermore it considers the scope and limitation of the study and definition of key words. Chapter two was devoted to review of available and related literature as well as explains the theoretical perspective from which the study is conceived. Chapter Three deals with Research Methodology adopted in the study, in which the research design and procedures for data collection and sampling as well as the method of data presentation and analysis. Chapter Four gave the general overview of sexual violence against women in Nigeria and some issues and problems of sexual violence against women. Chapter summarizes the study, draws conclusion and makes recommendations based on the findings.
Violence against women is a major threat to social and economic development. It is an obstacle to peace, progress and a threat to the objective of equality. Violence against women is a prevalent harm to the basic rights, freedoms, health, and welfare of women. It occurs in many settings by many hands, including those of relatives, acquaintances, employers, and the state. In fact, most forms of violence appear as traditions, customs and religious practices which keep the status accorded to women in Nigeria at the lowest pedestal. In the past in Nigeria, violence against women received very little or no attention, and that only reinforced the perpetration of the act. However, since the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (CEDAW) and other related policies of the international and national governments and other stakeholders, the menace was expected to roll back in Nigeria (UN, 1997). Unfortunately, the policies initiated to address gender inequality, were vague on sanctions against violators. This and the ineffective implementation of these provisions led to a failure, such that gender-based violence has continued to remain a great threat to the lives of women in Nigeria
The root causes of injustice against women such as traditional and cultural beliefs and practices, poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, unemployment, porous borders and economic conditions must be addressed through measures such as raising public awareness regarding human rights and the risks of trafficking, providing women empowerment schemes, micro credit assistance and vocational training for better income generation possibilities.
There is need for private-public partnership in promoting gender-based seminars, rallies, meetings, teachings, symposia, debates etc. The location, time and content of these educational programmes should be such that would be designed to unfold male and especially female issues, in which the female should be able to express their views unhindered.
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