I can still hear his laughter as I ran from the room, out of the house and into the streets to wait until my father or another adult came into the house. I was about 9 years old and I was at home with my fathers relative reading a book when he came into the room I was in. The next thing I can remember is seeing him stark naked with an erection.
As soon as I saw him and “it,” I jumped off the bed and as I ran his laughter followed me out. He must have realized I knew what he wanted to do and he was right because although my parents and most parents in those days never sat us down to talk about sex or abuse ( I never even told them about the incident) I already knew what happened between a naked man and woman. You see, years before then, when I was about 4 or 5 one of my pastimes was watching my uncle and his girlfriend having sex through the keyhole of his room. I was never caught and I can’t remember why they took the key out of the keyhole but I knew what I saw and later practiced what I saw with my neighbour who was my age mate.
So those videos of little children we see acting out sex positions and styles, yep that was me and sometimes it’s not their parents’ fault that they know what they know.
That initial sex education was followed by an avid consumption of romance novels- Mills & Boon, Harlequin, Barbra Cartland, Jackie Collins etc. They were all good teachers and so without having sex, I knew what it was like and knew that no one had a right to my privies.
I count myself blessed that I have never been sexually violated, the data suggests that about 1 in every 7 girls have been raped or sexually molested. I have heard stories of ladies who have been raped and they are the most horrid experience one can ever imagine.
Rape is perpetuated by different classes of people. Some are strangers- an assault, armed robbery and they constitute a small percent, most are carried out by family members, neighbours, friends or relatives, boyfriends or fiancée and yes even husbands.
Women have been raped since the beginning of time and the story of David’s children, lends credence to the fact that some men find pleasure in taking forcefully what is not theirs to take. I must also add that rape is not limited to or carried out against women alone. A lot of men have been raped and it has sent some of them down the path of sexual disorientation.
Growing up rape was spoken of in hush tones. It was and still is a stigma to admit that one was raped. It is something that speaks of tainted and soured goods and many women will rather die than admit to having been raped. However, the tide is changing and more people are becoming bold to talk about rape and its effects on them. As a society, it will do us good to listen and emphatise with victims without judgment or bias. We must provide a safe place for victims to talk about their assault without asking them what they were wearing or what they were doing at the place or time the assault took place or trying to put the blame and responsibility for the rape on them. We must also ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice and that they feel the full brunt of the law. However, I am reluctant to support some actions being canvassed like the denial of bail for rapists or the castration of men who have been accused of and even convicted of rape.
I reiterate again that rape is unacceptable in any form or manner and I would instantly support and stand by anyone who’s been raped and ensure with all that is within me that her assailants are brought to book but I want to sound a note of warning. As much as rape should be condemned by any reasonable being we must be careful to ensure that all claims of rape are well established.
I say this because it is a well known fact that people have been falsely accused of rape for different reasons some malicious and some in the bid to protect themselves or a loved one. Sometimes, things are not as they may appear to be and it behoves us to listen to both sides of a story without prejudice or bias before coming to a conclusion.
A good example of rape being used as a weapon can be seen in the incident between Joseph and Potiphar ‘s wife. In that story the evidence even supported Potiphar’s wife as Joseph cloak was found in her possession . On a personal note, I have had cause to be involved in the expulsion/ discipline of a guy from the university based on an allegation only to find out that it was false. My involvement in that incidence has made me more inclined to always hear the two sides of a story before judging and to always warn my son of keeping verifiable records with whomever he is involved with.
Finally, I have been requested to ask ladies on behalf of the men when No means No. They understand that No at the beginning of the act means No but seek clarification on whether a yes at the beginning and No at the point of ejaculation is rape. They also want to know if it is also rape when a woman is not active for some reasons but goes along with the motions or when she becomes emotional during sex and turns off and/ or starts to cry.
On this matter, I condemn Rape in any form or manner whilst being aware that as with all things some unscrupulous people will take advantage of the outcry against rape to level an accusation against an innocent person. The two positions can lie side by side.
Rape is a heinous crime that should never go unpunished. It amazes me what kind of joy a person will feel from taking something so precious forcefully from another. How does one have sex with a minor, a child, a baby!
What is attractive about a girl’s bare chest and pampers covered butt? How can sex with someone without their consent bring enjoyment? Why must a man or anyone force themselves on a woman or even another man when he can pay someone else to have sex with him?
Rape is about control and a motivation to harm and humiliate another. It can or may not be violent but it is always without the consent of the victim. The victim doesn’t invite rape either by her dressing, looks, behaviour or by the company she keeps. She doesn’t ask for it because no one asks for a lifetime of pain and stigmatization, that she doesn’t fight back does not mean she consents to the act. Since the key word to determining rape is consent. It is to be noted that minors, children, mentally disabled persons etc are not capable of giving consent even if they desire it and so all sexual acts with such persons is rape.