Sexual Assault and why do I have to be blamed and shamed for it?

Sexual assault: this means illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant (such as a doctor) in a position of trust or authority. Just in case you are not very clear about the meaning, this can be also known as molestation, rape etc.

Now you know what I am on about, it makes me really sad that although this is a very sick and disgusting act (my opinion) it is very common, a lot of people have been victims of this act.

You hear young girls and boys talk about how they were sexually assaulted by a trusted guardian (uncles, aunts, cousin, parents), by a teacher in school or a private tutor, by a friend, by a colleague, by a boss, by a neighbour or even a random stranger.

Is this okay?

No, I don’t think so.

The worst part is the victims are being blamed and shamed for it. Why should I be blamed for it? why do I have to bow my head in shamed and fear just to avoid contact with my abuser?

Why is this okay?

How can I not feel safe around family or people generally? Why do I have to think twice before visiting a “supposed” friend in his house without worrying? And why does my visit to your house mean I want to be sexually involved with you?

Why is my dressing a call out to you? How does my clothing ask for me to be sexually assaulted? Why do I have to be shamed and threatened with that incidence?

How unreliable can you be for me not to confined in you? Why do I have to be blamed or held accountable for a person’s behaviour?

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash
Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

I had experienced this as a child (less than eight (8) or nine(9) years old) and honestly I don’t know how I felt about this, plus there was no one to tell, I remember being threatened for it and feeling ashamed, and scared that when I got older in Jss1(also known as basic 7) I was not going to let that happen to me again, I recognized that look on his face and the way he hugged me from behind, he had never done that before at that point I knew I had to tell someone, I remember leaving the house and telling my friends (they all feared for future assault) and then my dad. But I still felt guilty because someone had to leave the house and that had always been my favourite person, I remember the words “ that’s what you get from running away from school” and that hurt me because this meant I deserved to be touched inappropriately because I ran away from school.

The one that stole my first kiss, it was unexpected and I just left immediately how can this be okay? I hate to remember this story because it just spoils everything for me I remember I used to just ignore it because I wanted the boy I had a crush on in high school to be my first kiss or even being smacked on the butt by the geography teacher in front of the class just as I was about to leave after a test, I wished my palm had touched his face instead of his hands when he tried to touch me the second time.

It no longer bothers me but these days I am filled with I’m never going to allow my kids go through this, I am not going to make them feel like they can’t come to me or tell me anything because they are scared, I am going to stand up for them and protect them.

I remember reading a news article about a girl that had been raped by her dad and someone passed these exact comment “ I am sure she seduced him”, How!!!! How do you seduce your dad? Also, I read about a four(4) year old child that had been raped by a security guard. People need help, people need therapy, people need to be locked up.

I am sorry guys if I don’t have enough examples for you, these are mostly personal experiences.

Sexual assault is one of the most talked about things now especially on Twitter (yeah I am mostly on Twitter), you find people sharing their personal experiences and how they got through it. Reading these stories, my heart breaks especially from the blame and shaming of victims, especially when girls share their story because it happens to be aunts, mothers, generally women shaming and blaming them, “don’t mention it so you don’t bring shame to the family”, “who asked you to go to his house”,”why did you drink?”, “when you like exposing your body and wearing short skirts”, or when guys are being told, “take it like a man” ( I think girls are raised to feel shame while boys are raised to show fewer emotions). For example, Terry Crews being shamed by certain people for speaking out about his traumatic experience.

Most Nigerian parents don’t educate their kids on sex that’s one thing I really don’t understand. Could the problem be that they were also not educated, especially on this topic and on consent?

A discussion came up about coercion especially pressuring people into having sex and most people act like it’s not a norm, it is not supposed to be but it is a common experience with girls. When people use manipulation just to make you have sexual intercourse with them and eventually you give in just so “he can live me alone” or “ he can stop disturbing me” or “ I really like him I don’t want to lose him” or “he bought me this and now I have to give him something”.

In 2013, I was searching for a university in Ghana and I found someone that could help because he was a student at the school, I think I met him on Facebook or Twitter I really can’t remember, he was very nice and helpful so if he asked for payment (money) I would have understood but not trying to get me to sleep with you by saying “but I helped you get an admission into school”. Although he was helping I was also on the school’s site, I later got in touch with a friend and confirmed the money he asked for was legit. So really it was real. But the fact that he lied about us staying at his aunts place and going to school the next day but ended up taking me to a guest house that was it for me, he kept pressuring me most of the night to have sex with him, I didn’t give in to having sexual intercourse, but I let him touch me, so “he could just leave me alone”. I slept with my clothes on that night and the next morning I lied (yes, I told a lie) that my parents needed me back in Nigeria, I received a call that morning but it was from my best friend, I asked for directions to his place. I left got admission into my best friend’s school and that was it.

Honestly, I think this reflects badly on us as women, says a lot about our self-esteem, our voice, and insecurities. I hope we work on these things and learn to stand our ground and for pressurizers, how low can you go? Begging, crying, using manipulative words, just to have sex?

Well, because of the discussions going on some people have found a way to make up false stories and sexual assault allegations for various reasons know to them, I understand that probably you’ve been hurt or you just have a reason to vent but false sexual assault allegation is serious and should not be a joke, and there are people who defend abusers because of gender or relationship (I have never known him to be that way) or even aid it. hmm, we actually never know what goes on in a person’s mind you know?

A system where these things are not taken seriously or where victims are shamed, or where comments like “ did you enjoy it?”, “I know you enjoyed it”, are passed is a failed system.

We have to do better.

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash
Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

People need to be taught about boundaries, people need to know that women are not gifts, people need to understand that sexual assault is sexual assault irrespective of the gender, power is not a reason for you to do what you want and hurt people in the process, people need to be held accountable for their actions and victim blame and shame needs to stop (victims already blame themselves enough) and help them get help, so they can heal.

I hope we do better as future mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, boss, colleagues, friends, neighbours and strangers.

I hope we educate our kids and the surrounding people on consent and why it is very important.

Just sharing.

#endrape #endchildmolestation #notokay #feminism #dobetter

*please like and share feel free to leave a comment.

Featured Image:
unsplash-logoAnh Nguyen
unsplash-logoVolkan Olmez

Scroll to Top