Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Rape the silent evil

RAPE THE SILENT EVIL.

Rape is condemnable, there’s no justification for rape, it is unjustifiable act in our society and it is high time we rise as a nation to condemn and eradicate this heinous, barbaric, cruel, inhumane and despicable act.

The severity of the offence of rape cannot be over emphasized, this is because the victims of rape are made to suffer unquantifiable anguish, some become diagnosed with post-trumatic stress disorder, dissociation from reality, depersonalization, they endure physical violence, avoid social life, get infected with sexual transmitted infectious, encounter serious difficulty in remembering events, relives moment of sexual assault and unwanted pregnancy amongst other ills of the act.
Consent is as important as the air we breathe and should be given freely and voluntarily without threats, intimidation or fear of harm.

RAPE UNDER THE NIGERIAN LAW

Rape is the most serious kind of sexual assault and is punishable with imprisonment for life with or without whipping as provided for in section 358 of the criminal code. As to the definition of rape, SECTION 357 of the criminal code provides as thus “Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl without her consent or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by any 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, in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape"
Thus, section 282 0f the penal code provides for as follows: Section 282(1) provides that” A man is said to commit rape who, except in the section referred to in subsection (2) of this section, has sexual intercourse with a woman in any of the following circumstances:
Against her will
Without her consent
With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her in fear of death or hurt;
With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married;
With or without her consent, when she is under fourteen years of age or of unsound mind.”
Section 282(2) provides that:
sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape, if she has attained to puberty.
Section 283 provides that whoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment for life or for any less term and shall also be liable to fine.

The slightest penetration of the vagina is sufficient to constitute the offence of rape as provided for in section 6 0f the criminal code. The important point to note here is that they cannot be rape without penetration, although the offence of rape is completed upon penetration as help in section 6 of the code. It has been held that the act of sexual intercourse which follows is part of the offence itself, so that aid giving after penetration makes the aider a party to the offence.
The fear of sexual assault or rape is part of every woman’s lives indeed the reality is that rape is a threat for every female. In the charge of rape, the absence of consent is very paramount, these is because it is base on this that the prosecution has to prove that the accused person had carnal knowledge of the victim despite her age without consent. And it’s no ground to say that the victim is a common prostitute, provided she did not consented to the said act of intercourse, it will amount to rape.

You can Also Read:
The bitter truth about rape incident

Consent obtained through unlawful means is no consent at all. There is a clear different between consent and submission, all consents involved a submission, but it by no means follows that a mere submission involves consent. it would be too much to say that an adult submitting quietly to outrage of this description, was not consenting; on the other hand, the mere submission of a child when in the power of a strong man, and probably acted upon by fear, can by no means be taken to be such as will justify the prisoner in point of law.

If an accused person pleads that he is mistaken as to that the accused person is consenting and it turns out that the victim is not consenting, here, the burden of prove is not on the accused person to establish the defense of honest and reasonable believe as provided for in section 25 of the criminal code. Here the prosecution has the burden of proving that the said accused person has intercourse without the victims consent (actus reus) and that the said accused person has the intention to have intercourse without the victim’s consent (mens rea), all must be prove as part of the case that the accused intended to have sexual intercourse without the victims consent.

Thus any person who makes any attempt to commit the offence of rape will be guilty of felony and be liable with imprisonment for 14years with or without whipping for attempt to commit rape.

Conclusion:
The carnal knowledge must be proved for the purpose, it is not necessary to prove that the hymen was rupture or that there has been an emission of semen. Mere penetration will constitute a rape, having a carnal knowledge of any woman or a girl with or without her consent or if that said consent is obtained by force or any threat whatsoever will amount to rape. The most serious kind of sexual assault is rape and punishable with imprisonment for life with or without canning as provided for in section 358 of the criminal code, as well as in section 282 of the penal code respectfully.

BY ABUBAKAR IBRAHIM
A 400 LEVEL LAW STUDENT FROM UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI.

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