Most of the cases of rape and defilement handled by the Lagos State government are perpetrated by repeat offenders, an official said on Tuesday.
Lola Vivour-Adeniji, Coordinator, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, who spoke at a one day school sensitization programme on sexual violence in the state, said that the reason was because the offenders believed they would get away with their crime.
The Lagos State criminal law stipulates a life imprisonment for rape and defilement convicts.
“I have a client that is 15 years old. She was defiled last year, now she has a six-month-old baby. So imagine a 15-year-old take care of a six month old baby,” said Mrs. Vivour-Adeniji.
“One of the reasons victims find it hard to report rape is because they feel they will not be believed. But there has been an increase in the reporting of cases.”
The sensitization programme, organized by the Mirabel Centre’s Partnership for Justice (a DFID-funded initiative), had students from almost a dozen secondary schools across the state in attendance.
Annette Oke, a member of Soroptimist International of Nigeria, spoke on self-defence skills against sexual attack.
“The main motive of attackers is because they want have power and control. You can take away that and render them useless,” said Ms. Oke.
Ms. Oke demonstrated how young ladies can use parts of their bodies – from their heels to their hips – to wade off sexual predators.
“First thing is to have a mental attitude that I-can-do-it. When somebody is going to attack you, it’s the fear they put into you.
”You need to make use of your hips. As a girl, the bottom half of your body is stronger than the rest of your body. Use anything that you have to get away from your attacker.”
Another speaker, Taiwo Akinlami, said that the society was “killing” the youth by preventing them from discussing their sexuality.
“Your sexuality is not sex. Sex is a minute part of your sexuality,” said Mr. Akinlami, Principal, Taiwo Akinlami Academy.
Mr. Akinlami urged the students to be conscious of self-protection and report use of suggestive languages by their elders, including their teachers.
“Don’t allow anybody call you wife. You are not a wife, you are a student,” he said.
“You must also frown at suggestive languages. A teacher was chatting with his student and he said ‘I have boil in my private part. What do you think I can use?’ Fortunately, the girl slept off and left her phone and the mother saw the chat.
”There are all kinds of methods that paedophiles are using these days. You must not only speak up for yourself, speak up for others.”