News Investigators/ As the world grapples with rising incidences of rape, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura says early education and training of the boy-child on the menace is a major step toward halting the trend in Nigeria.
Dandaura, Executive Director, Institute of Strategic and Development Communication, Nassarawa State University, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
According to him, if the energy deployed into educating the girl-child on how to be a good lady is equally deployed to boys at an early age, sexual violence will be reduced.
“Our culture is already used to focusing on the education of the girl-child and most times we tell the boy that he is the head of the family.
“We do not do much to sensitise the boy. Mothers take time to give the best education to the girls on how to behave, how to take care of themselves, how to keep themselves.
“But for boys, we normally do not give them as much time in training, particularly on how to treat a lady; we do not emphasise their roles as responsible citizens of the society.
“Most importantly, we do not educate them to appreciate that they are sharing this space with the female folks and have obligations to look out for them as well.’’
According to him, most training is to make the boy feel like a `superman’; make him feel that he is the head of the family while his obligations to the family and duties as responsible member of the society are not emphasised .
“Boys must grow up to see their sisters as part of the space that God has given them to share. They are not just there to take instructions from them or as decorations.
“When the boy-child receives the kind of sensitisation a girl child receives in terms of sexuality and how to ensure that they don’t violate the other person, may be we may have better results.’’
He frowned at the situation where young men, who rape, are celebrated and seen as heroes, especially among his friends.
“A rapist, who should be shunned by his friends, is often applauded and made to feel like a super star.
“The society, especially the parents, are quick to blame the victim; the culture of blaming victims must be quickly eradicated. There is no excuse for anyone to be raped,’’ he said.
The don stressed the need for good deterrent measures, saying that the society would suffer the effect of rape in the long run if not addressed.
“It is very important that stiffer punishments must be handed down to violators because the ripple effect is on the society.
“Life imprisonment should be considered and policies should be in place for prosecution.
“The government should also look into the call to establish sex offenders register as done by many civilised communities.
“You have a record and you share it.
“It is not just good to have a register but to be able to share information; already, the Police have a database but it should be updated adequately and we must be willing to share information.
“For instance, if I am searching for a job and I know employers would want to do some checks on me or I am looking for a political office, I will think twice before committing any offence.
“The victims should speak out too. We need to educate the parents too because they need to understand that there is no mistake a child should commit that qualifies them for rape.
“The government should put in place necessary legislation. The truth is that violence comes in different forms. Sexual violence is even more dominant, everyone is affected and there is optimal impact in the society.
“It is our basic responsibility and we must all be seen putting all efforts to see that it comes to an end,’’ Dandaura advised. (NAN)