Rape is not always a forced entry, and it is not usually the unlawful intercourse or sexual penetration of the vagina without consent. Rape, sometimes called sexual assault, can happen to both men and women of any age, but it is most common when victims are girls. This essay focuses principally on sexual exploitation of under-age Nigerian girls below the age where one is legally able to give consent that is informed, meaningful, independent , and considered.
In America and some Western countries, a rape is statutory when the act is committed on girls below the age of majority, usually 18 years of age. In Nigeria there is no "statutory rape age" set by custom or enshrined in the Constitution, therefore Nigerian girls continue to be exposed to indiscriminate rape. The situation becomes absurd as the victim does not have a knowing, cognitive model or cognitive case conceptualization of the consequences of the act of adult manipulation.
Although the raping of women has been going on for centuries around the world, Hitler elevated rape to an unprecedented level of brutality. Hitler and his doctors granted permission to prison guards to rape Jewish women and gypsies for the purpose of anatomical research, namely to study the reproductive system of the woman and its responses to violence. Rape is a brutal instrument of war as seen in many conflicts around the world. Examples are the Vietnam War, Nigeria-Biafra conflict, Iraq, Syria, WWI, WWII, to mention a few notable hostilities.
Raping of underage Nigerian virgins was begun in order to promote invidious societal attitude or to solve problems created by lack of education or being short of money. An act is invidious if it is unenviable, unpleasant undesirable, odious, offensive, or horrible- Raping is implicated in human desire to deal with an imbalance in power ensuing from poverty. You can rape a damsel with the parent's permission. I know a catechist who betrothed his three daughters to Aba (Imo) traders who brought him fat loaves of bread and azu gbamgbam (sardines in metal cans).
Papa the old man enjoyed this once-in-a-blue-moon special breakfast because it was a respite ( break ) from the monotony of swallowing pounded cassava dipped in bitterleaf soup every morning and because he thought that oyibo (white man's) food tasted better for the simple reason that it was imported from Britain. Come and see the old Papa feast on white man's breakfast , consisting of spongy bread along with dark, steaming Ovaltine sweetened with Peak Milk and cubes of sugar all bearing "Made in Great Britain" labels.
That was just before Britain saw it fit to grant independence to its former colony. The practice continues today as one descends down Nigerian's economic ladder. Consequently, the girls consent does not figure into the marital equation because parents and significant others make decisions that have far more reaching consequences than the victims can ever imagine. Victims of rape do not grant consent , but parents (in this case, fathers) often do.
A Nigerian family may, in order to overcome the effect of poverty, "dash" teenage daughter to a trader who is asked to be responsible for paying the girl's expenses at the primary school, secondary school, or university, depending on how far the girl and her parents want to go. The fastest way to guarantee a Nigerian girl's upkeep and/or education is to give her to a would-be bridegroom who has lots of money and the ability to shoulder the financial responsibilities the parents cannot discharge.
A large percentage of Nigerian girls at the universities and other post-secondary institutions have their fees and expenses paid by so-called "husbands" who may be several times the girls' ages. A man agrees to marry (actually buy with the understanding that he must train) the girl and pay all the necessary fees attendant to education or vocational training in lieu of or in conjunction with the bride price (dowry). It is not uncommon to see a young, physically attractive female graduate from a Nigerian medical or law school being married to an old, ooglee (extremely ugly) trader who has millions of Naira in Onitsha State Bank, Lagos Equatorial Trust bank, or Abuja First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
Money is the primary factor to consider rather than love in these marital unions. It is expected that love will develop as time goes by, but this is not always the case. There have been cases where the girl upon completion of education finds out that she does not love the man. A nasty divorce may follow or the girl is required to pay back money owed.
In a country like Nigeria where there are no government subsidized student loans or other arrangements made to finance education for needy students, girls may continue to be pawns in the hands of rapacious (predatory) parents and cunning (disingenuous) men.