CAN MEN BE NOW RAPED IN NIGERIA?
As he lay knocked out by the drink she had given him, she undressed him and went ahead to give him a head on his already aroused genitals. When he regained his senses, he doesn't know what to make of what had just happened. Was it rape? In Nigeria, before 2015, this wasn't rape!
I've added the adverb "now" because for a very long time, men were generally seen as discriminated upon in the Nigerian law in the matter of rape. Effectively, only women could be raped, no matter how obvious, even if the act occurred in the presence of the judge.
The most vocal & reported occurrences of rape has always been that perpetrated by males against females. However, the experience of lots of men, especially while they were boys, is that statutory rape had been committed against them. Lot's of "aunties" who lived in the same house with them have had sex with these boys. Some of these boys grow up to have distorted views about sex, sometimes becoming pedophiles themselves.
In 2015, however, the Violence Against persons (prohibition) Act (VAPP) was passed into law.
While existing laws (prior to 2015) limited their scope of rape to protect only females in relation to vaginal penetration without consent, the VAPP Act has taken a giant stride to expand the meaning and scope of rape. By virtue of the Act, rape is when a person intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his or her body or anything else without consent, or where such consent is obtained by force or means of threat or intimidation of any kind or by fear of harm or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act or the use of any substance or additive capable of taking away the will of such person or in the case of a married person by impersonating his or her spouse. By this definition, both males and females are protected against rape. The issue of rape being gender biased has been a jurisprudential issue in Nigeria for a while because our law, as it then was, does not recognize situations wherein a man would or could be raped. Thus, instances such as the one reported in Daily Post on the 17th of July, 2012 where a man was allegedly “raped” to death by his wives, was not classified as rape but manslaughter.
The Act also, in its progressive nature, took cognizance of the fact that sex now goes beyond the primary sex organs and thus, extended the scope of rape to include anus and mouth. This is because it was difficult in times past, to bring an issue of forceful anal or oral sex under the umbrella of rape simply because such occasion was not envisaged or accommodated by our laws.
When men are raped by "aunties", teachers, sister-in-laws, neighbors, it's usually met with ridicules, especially by fellow men. Some will ask for the address of the alleged rapist so as to submit to be "raped too."
All acts of rape is criminal, whether against men or women, and should not be allowed to die without the full weight of the law.
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