Rape is a conscious process of forced sexual intercourse by using violence or threats and intimidation wherein perpetrators keep women and children, in a state of constant fear.
Rape is also said to devalue the victim. It is a crime which stigmatizes emotions, a crime of insult, oppression and revenge.
Universally, rape is considered to be an immoral act which is not peculiar to any nation, race, creed or gender.
It is a global pandemic affecting both young and old, people of various classes, both the educated and uneducated, regardless of the race, ethnic background or religion.
The alarming nature of rape cases and defilement of young girls as reported by the media have generated reactions from concerned members of the society.
It is widely believed that no day passes without an incidence of rape or sexual harassment across the globe.
In 2016, a total number of one hundred and fifty cases of sexual and physical abuse were recorded in Lagos.
According to statistics, only two percent of rape cases in Nigeria receive judicial intervention, meaning that ninety eight percent of rapists go free.
The increasing number of rape and defilement of young girls is basically due to moral decadence and nonchalant attitude of some parents.
Most recent was the case of a two year old minor raped by a twenty five year old man in Somolu, Lagos State and that of another three year old raped by a thirty five year old man in Dolphin Estate, also in Lagos State.
Last month, it was reported in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, that a young lady on her way back from work was gang raped, killed while her corpse was also allegedly abused by a mortuary attendant.
Rape often results in physical and psychological trauma.
Physical effects of rape can arise from both forced sexual assault and those involving forcible submission through sleeping pills without the knowledge of victims.
Psychological consequences of rape include trauma and low self-esteem which affect healing process.
To reduce this disturbing trend requires the cooperation of all stakeholders involved.
Parents should sensitize their children on the need to speak out when they are in danger of being sexually abused.
Victims should immediately go for medical help to reduce the traumatic effect while the society should show love and care for victims of rape instead of stigmatization.
It is noteworthy that Osun and Lagos states are setting the pace of reducing this trend by enacting stiffer laws to punish offenders, other states need to emulate this.
Victims of rape should be made to go through reformation until when experts certify them okay for release.
Sexual assault would be greatly curtailed if equal opportunity and free formal education is provided for all children. Government at all levels must create enabling environment for economic activities to thrive as an idle hand is the devils workshop.
Olorunniyi Opeyemi an I.T Student