NIGERIAN WOMEN MOBILIZE AGAINST RAPISTS
In one week, no fewer than Seven (7) cases of rape have been reported in different parts of the country with the hashtag #JusticeForJennifer #JusticeForUwa, #JusticeForTina and currently #JusticeForBarakat. This is an evident escalation of cases of sexual and gender-based violence which the global pandemic of COVID – 19 has contributed to.
Women and girls whether young or old are facing increased rape, battering, and murder. The growing intensity and severity of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria is disturbing and an abuse of the human rights of women as citizens of Nigeria.
Statistically speaking, in 2013, the Nigeria Police recorded 1,788 cases and 1,827 in 2015, with the numbers still on the rise. Of this number, there have only been 18 convicted rape cases. This is very worrisome as many women and young girls are asking questions on where the safe space is for women.
Since the establishment of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), 1274 children between the ages of 2-9 have been raped while ages 18-45 ranks as the second highest with 1224. They also recorded 306 raped cases of women and 33 for men between January to March 16.
The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015 rapists are sentenced to life imprisonment, attempted rape gets up to 14 years imprisonment, and gang rape, a minimum of 20 years. More so, the Penal code sentences rape perpetrators to up to 14 years and seven years for gross indecency. VAPP Act also states that a 12-year-old found guilty of rape can be sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.