War against rape: “Our sex crime laws need to get tougher” – Esther Ijewere

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Ifreke Inyang

 

 Esther Ijewere runs Rubies Ink, a social enterprise outfit devoted to youth advocacy, public relations, and social enterprise solutions. Rubies Ink is also the initiators of W.A.R. (Walk Against Rape), an advocacy initiative created to lend a voice for the victims of rape and demand justice for the perpetrators. YNaija spoke to Miss Ijewere about Rubies Ink and W.A.R in the face of the recent notorious Abia State University rape incident.

 

When can it be said that someone was or has been raped?

When sexual intercourse is forced without the victims will, wish  or consent!

Why does rape happen?

Lack of discipline, self control and abuse of power.

What are the after effects of rape?

Someone who has been raped might feel a lot of things: anger, degraded, frightened, numb, or confused. It’s also normal for someone who has been raped to feel ashamed or embarrassed. Some people withdraw from friends and family. Self denial, suicide, hatred, distrust,  agony, nervousness, depression,anxiety, fear are also some of the after effects.

Let’s hear your thoughts on the current ABSU rape story.

It’s a very sensitive matter and its quite unfortunate that even with the information we have at our disposal on where the incident took place (ABSU) ,the state Government  and Vice Chancellor of ABSU have come out to say they are not aware of such ugly act taking place either in the school or in the state as a whole, no one has any clue regarding the victim and nobody has step forward to identify her from the video as well. The SUG of the school are not co-operating either and its making it difficult for us to fish out the rapists or even reach out to the victim as well. Our efforts are being frustrated but regardless of this we will get to the root of the matter.

Do you think that for whatever reason, anybody deserves to be raped?

No one deserves to be raped and there is no excuse whatsoever for raping a woman. It is barbaric, a crime against humanity and sin against God!

Now that the Minister of Youth Development is involved, what do you think he should actually do about the case?

I must commend the Honourable Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi so far on the case and he has assured us that he would get to the root of the case.

There has never been a much talked about rape incident like the ABSU story, why do you think everybody is suddenly paying attention?

Because its not just another rape case, but one with proof where people saw the culprits carrying out their shameless act and most of all because the clips was released on the internet for all to see. We are happy with the swift reaction of young Nigerians towards this case via the social media, it shows that people are willing to lend their voice and demand for justice. Even those who do not believe “Rape” actually exist have changed their perception

How can rape be prevented or avoided?

Always carry yourself assertively. Be aware of your surroundings and watch the kind of friends you keep and places you go and for ladies we often advise that you have a pepper spray in your bag. Prevention is better than cure they say…

You run an NGO that fights against rape, tell us about it.

It’s called Walk Against Rape Nigeria, a special campaign and demonstration for silent victims of rape and abuse where celebrities, entertainers, youth advocates, civil societies, women organisations, NGO’s, faith based organisations and others all come together to lend their voice to victims of rape and also demand for proper justice to perpetrators.  We also offer counseling services and do followup check on rape victims. One  major thing we are advocating for is a one-stop centre, where victims can get quick verbal intervention and counseling from a social worker; medical attention and legal backing for free. The campaign is fully endorsed and approved by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs.

Is rape on the increase in Nigeria?

Yes it is; in the last two years we have had more reported rape cases  and the figures have increased as well.

Who should actually be held responsible for rape? The rapist, the victim, friends/peers, the government or the parents?

The blame for rape lies solely with the rapist. He is the offender and the perpetrator and should be held responsible and punished for committing such crime against humanity. However government also has a key role to play by enacting a tough sex crime law as this will keep rapist and abusers at bay once they know they will be facing the law if they commit the crime. You can’t hold the victims responsible for any reason because its not their fault, in the case of the parent we always advise mothers especially to keep a close watch on their girl-child.

 

 

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Comments (4)

  1. Pingback: Abia 5: A Very Heinous Crime

  2. Shutting down the school would be unfair to the decent students there, but the Vice-Chancellor and the others protecting the rapists must go, one way or another

  3. Esther Ijewere may God bless you ãήϑ other fellow young nigerians who are dedicated to workin tirelessly towards solvin this absu rape case. As ƒσя the VC of absu ãήϑ the governor i wld suggest that once this perpetrators are brought to book that school shld be shut down.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail