Recently, an issue of being assaulted and more precisely, being kissed without the victim consent spurred out in the writers’ community. My consternation through the way some persons commented on the issue was not that high but it pushed me to raising it among some friends on a WhatsApp group page. There were differing opinions. A friend nicknamed Prestigious said, “kisses could mean different things for different people. And the styles of approach differ. For instance, when you kiss someone on the hand it means something and kiss on the lips means another. It might be a friendly kiss.” He further said, “Was the lady’s eyes closed when his mouth was coming?” Another friend supported thus, “I seriously blame the man by making his apology letter a public one and even the girl did not handle the issue maturely. Is she telling us that she is still a virgin? Both of them are immature to me.”
Such were the responses I got after sharing the link which published that the writer; Chijioke Nnadi has apologised to the young lady; Miracle Adebayo who posted a case of being kissed without her consent against him on Facebook. Well, one may think it is no big deal. In fact, a friend said he has met the girl before and he didn’t see her as a decent type but does it change the fact that a thief is a thief? Maybe we have forgotten as well that this is how it generates into something bigger; rape.
He should search for answers or readjust his reasoning when he reads this. But I think the society is doing more damage and unreasonably promoting sexual assaults. There are quite a lot of people; young ladies living in the dungeon of rape miseries who cannot speak out because of what the society will say; because of the evidence that it requires.
I saw with my own eyes, the truth being trampled on; reasoning being washed off faces as if it were a make-up. I saw in the cause of the “kiss-without-consent” a man standing and exposing “a god of poetry” and I saw too, a woman, standing against the voice of exposure of the killer of another woman. It is true that a woman’s problem is another woman and like the proverbial dry fish, it filled the mouth.
We may blame a bitten child for toiling with the tail of a dog yet, it does not free the dog of the consequences of biting a child. Is it not after the bite that a child learns to run from a dog? Whether it is just a kiss or a rape, it is about the abuse of innocence of the other, the explosion of a bomb in the heart of someone which leaves the heart shattered and fettered. It leaves victims questioning themselves; finding a fault that is not in them as to why they have attracted such death to the inner worth. Just as it took Miracle Adebayo such long walk before she finally decided to open up now.
Unfortunately, when not finding answers push victims to courageously expose their killers, what does the society say? The society shuns victims, the society adds more to the bleeding heart.
The population census count may be high but we are underpopulated. Why? There are a lot of people who are a living dead. Dead within due to sexual abuse, violence and heart-wrenching encounters. It is courage when a victim speaks out but what can those suffering in the background do when those who speak out get more of lashes then justice?
A lady commented and I can never forget, “it did not happen to me.” And I begin to ponder if it is then not a matter if it happened to someone else. The fear of not being believed, the greater fear of exposing oneself to lashes leaves people like us; victims of sexual assaults, imprisoned within and daily finding faults and accusing ourselves of attracting such pains while our killers walk uncuffed and even hurting more souls.
One cannot afford to be subjective. Give victims of sexual abuse supports whenever courage pushes them to scream. That it did not happen to you does not mean it is not happening. There are more than countable victims compared to those published on the pages of newspapers.