Udoka Okafor / The Silhouette
Rape is one of the most gruesome of crimes. For all its victims, it represents the highest invasion of their privacy. It is a crime that preys on the most vulnerable. Current statistics for rape do not fully represent the reality of rape cases in society.
Part of this stems from the fact that many people do not know what rape means and that many rape victims do not report their crimes for fear of being blamed and shunned.
Rape culture has been institutionally embedded in our society. This gross sexual objectification of women and their subjugation to unfair standards is an accepted reality.
Rape victims are shunned, blamed and further abused by powerful figures in society. When you talk to some people, they will tell you that rape will happen no matter what we do. The question I ask is, why? And I deem it imperative to answer that question.
Before I continue, I want to make something clear, and it’s that rape is a crime of power, not sex. This is actually a very important element of rape that people tend to miss.
Rapists are not only in it for sexual gratification, but to overcompensate for their lack of strength.
I am a strong believer that powerful figures who have sexual affairs with young, vulnerable people should be prosecuted for rape.
It is never okay to take advantage of someone’s vulnerability.
That is why we have laws on statutory rape that protect teenagers from predators who take advantage of them, even if the teenager ‘consents’ to the sexual activity.
The reason, I believe, why rape laws do not identify, protect and prosecute all rape crimes in society to the law’s fullest extent is due to historical statutory redundancies and patriarchal oppression that has been institutionally embedded in our society and its legal system.
My point is to draw attention to the brutality of the rape culture we live and experience. Victim blaming, sexual objectification, double standards, protecting rapists and so on are expressed to their highest degree in our society. The first step to solving a problem is awareness.
Many people, especially women, do not know how power and oppression subjugates them to this vicious culture.
The best way to begin targeting the rape culture is to expose people to the voices of the abused, the repressed and the silenced. The voices of victims hold the key to ending rape and rape culture. Their voices will go a long way.