Obinna Uchendu, Abakaliki
A 17 year old girl, (name withheld) who was raped by one Friday Iteshi, a 32-year-old man in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State says she feels like killing herself each time she sees the man that raped her walk the street freely.
The rape victim says she is always tormented when he passes her house freely with friends making mockery of her and the unfortunate incident.
The victim who narrated her ordeal to our reporter said that since the incident occurred, “my worst nightmare is to watch the young man and his friends laugh at me while passing in front of my fathers compound making mockery of me and the predicament I went through in his hands.”
The victims noted that as a young girl who was raped by a man that lives very close to them, she has to grapple with the trauma and agony of seeing the young man each time she comes out to go for an errand for the parents or while coming back from school.
According to her, “it has been an agonizing experience and trauma. It is a sad experience to be raped and a bitter one to live with having to see the man who raped you walk freely as if nothing ever happened. When ever they gather in groups discussing and I pass by, it would seem as if they are discussing the incident and possibly making mockery of me.
“It has been 3 years the incident took place but each time I see him, the memory becomes fresh in my mind. Within my environment, each time someone wants to describe me to another person, the description would be, ‘don’t you know that one that was raped in the bush?’
“Even among my female friends, at any slightest provocation, they would remind me how I was raped and use it to make mockery of me and my Christian faith. It is so agonizing and it is something I have to live with.
“My regret is that when the incident was reported and the young man arrested, it didn’t take quite some time and he was freed. There should be serious punishment for such offenders to serve as a lesson to others but when they are arrested and set free within a short period, others will feel that, it is a minor case.
“I was lucky not to have contracted any infection or disease and also lucky not to have gotten pregnant because it would have jeopardized my education and future. Rape victims go through a lot and government and other agencies especially in Ebonyi State should brace up and ensure that perpetrators are brought to book and made to face serious punishment.”
Another victim of Violence Against Women and Girls, VAWG, Mrs. Modesta Ifatu called for more advocacy to end Violence against women and girls.
Mrs. Ifatu lost a 4-month-pregnancy and suffered dislocation on her right arm after she was battered by her husband.
Her offense was her refusal to release the N5000 given to her by her brother to register for Ante-natal .
Mrs. Ifatu a petty trader called for re orientation against the master-servant relationship existing in many marriages in Ebonyi state.
She noted that men in most rural communities in the state see their wives as an acquired commodity that should be made to subjected to their directives and dictates.
She pointed out that most parents do not also help matters as they would always blame the woman for every action thereby encouraging the men.
“After my husband bartered me and my elder brother had to bring in the police, my parents rose against his action and called him all sorts of names. That should he send me back, would he marry me and right before me, pleaded with my husband not to send me back to them.
“Their reason being that, two of my younger brothers staying with us may drop out of school should he send me packing.
“Most times the level of poverty in the family of the woman makes the man feel like a demi god.”
Speaking on the increasing rate of Violence Against women and girls in Ebonyi State, a lecturer at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike, Dr. Francisca Ogba called on Civil society organization, Non governmental organization and other agencies to intensify campaign against such ugly trend.
Mrs. Ogba also called on security agencies and the judiciary to ensure proper prosecution of cases against such actors as it would serve as deterrent to others who may want to carry out the act.
She commended the United Nations, UN, European Union EU and the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF for its effort in bringing to an end Violence against women and girls in Nigeria. Ends.
Obinna Uchendu, Abakaliki