Consent as defined by Merriam Webster's dictionary is "to agree to do or allow something : to givepermission for something to happen or be done". I think this definition very easy to understand and self explanatory.
Please pardon me, my messages would be coming in slowly cos I'm typing from the top of my head.
Therefore, in relation to gender violence or intercourse as the case may be, consent can be said to be the act of giving someone permission to your body to have sex.
I would really love for this to be interactive so we can sample diverse opinions.
Im sure many of us have been hearing of consent both on social media and all around us and we keep wondering why so much importance is attached to it...we would get there.
The most common form of gender violence in this part of the world is Rape. The criminal code Cap C38 in sections 357 and 358 defines rape as having unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false act, or, in case of a married woman, be personating her husband. This offence is punishable by imprisonment for life, with or without caning.
As you can see from the definition "having unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl", so in Nigeria only a woman can be raped according to the law. Lol, im sorry guys no hope for us. The most that can happen to a man is sexual assault. Men can't be raped.
Questions and answers.
JayMun : But why do most rapist get away with it in Nigeria. They even get arrested but released at the end of the day. Is our Justice system not equipped enough to persecute them?
Mr. Rotimi : There are 2 major ingredients for rape to have effectively occurred, they are: "Consent" and "Penetration". This penetration is penetration of the vagina, hence why men can't be raped cos obviously we don't have vaginas (I don't know about Jaymun Sha. Lol
These two ingredients of rape must be simultaneously in existence during the act. If one the action is devoid of any of the two then it is no longer rape but sexual assault.
Now to the very dicey part. Almost every guy who has had sex before has unknowingly committed rape.
Yeah I know it's shocking but very very true.
It all still boils down to the issue of consent.
As I earlier mentioned consent must be explicitly expressed and it must also be voluntarily. If its obtained by coersion (force), inducement (lies or otherwise) then the sex is said to be devoid of consent and it is tantamount to rape.
There's a case they taught us in criminal law when I was in 300level. The defendant was a choir master and he told one of the choristers that if she continues having sex with him for certain period of time her singing would get better. She had sex with him multiple times, with the believe that it would genuinely help her singing but it didnt. At the end of the day he was charged to court and it was proved that even though she gave consent it was obtained by inducement as he lied to her to obtain the consent he was therefore convicted for rape.
Consent can be given and withdrawn at any time. If a lady during the heat of intercourse withdraws her consent and says she is no longer interested and the guy continues then the guy has indeed committed the offence of rape. Yeah I know it doesn't sound logical but that's what the law says. Many people abroad have gone to jail for such.
As I earlier mentioned rape must constitute penetration and lack of consent. The penetration must be deep enough to break the hymen for virgins and for non virgins it must it must go in to a certain point. So ladies if it is just the tip no be rape.
There is also marital rape, yes a man can rape his wife. Marriage does not negate a woman's ability to grant consent to her husband. If she's not in the mood and you force her, there's nothing like shebi she's my wife, you would be convicted for rape. So no man has authority over his wife's body. Your wife must also grant consent.
This issue of rape is very dicey because it touches us in some awkward places. A lot of religious people believe that their wife must always have sex with them whether she's in the mood or not, as it is part of her wifely duties. So many Muslims and even Christians frown at this part of the law.
Becky Gadzama : мy qυeѕтιon ιѕ waт мeaѕυreѕ are вeιng тaĸen тo edυcaтe oυr ιnnмoѕт rυral coммυnιтιeѕ on rape.. eѕp ιn тнe мarrιage caѕeѕ or doeѕnт тнe law apply тo тнeм?
Mr. Rotimi : Sadly none. Most people in rural areas are devoid of these Integral knowledge. In fact most Nigerians are, which is why we should have sex education as part of our primary and secondary curriculum and topics like these can be infused into them.
Becky Gadzama : well ιѕ a law goιng тo вe paѕѕed тo ιnclυde ѕeх edυcaтιon ιn oυr educational System.
Mr. Rotimi : Unfortunately I know of none. Hopefully in the nearest future one would, let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. But in a country like Nigeria it would be hard for such things to be taught in schools, going by how "religious" our people are. Many parents would frown at their children being taught about sex, they feel it is corrupting the child. These kids go on to learn about it themselves in very hurtful and catastrophic ways. Very sad country we live in.
Daniel : You stated that men are not rape... Are men sexually assaulted since there is a difference between rape and assault?
Mr. Rotimi : As earlier mentioned consent must be explicitly expressed. Therefore someone who is drunk cannot express consent. So guys if you have sex with a girl who is drunk you have unequivocally committed rape.
Also as earlier mentioned consent obtained by inducement or false pretense is no consent. But if the female intentionally wants something in return then rape cannot be said to have occurred. For example if I promise a girl money and as a result of my promise she has sex with me then but afterwards I refuse to give her she cannot claim I raped her because it was a mutual agreement I give you this in exchange for sex. That is a valid contract.
I presume we now understand the importance of consent and why so much noise is made about it.
What spurred me to do this is cos every day there's one form of gender violence towards. Almost everyday in the news you see a 70 yr old man raped a 4 yr old girl. It has become the norm. So we need to do better as men, we need to protect our females and the only way protection we can give then is knowledge. Let them know they don't owe any guy anything, no man owns their body. If they want to have sex it should be by their own volition.
In the same vein, ladies you are the salt of the earth and without you there would be no us. Don't let any guy disrespect you, your body is yours, you own it, so also is your consent. But pls ehn help us, stop giving us mixed signals. If it is yes say yes, if no say no. Stop playing suwe with our head. Lol
Becky Gadzama : what can we possibly do?? we can't go frm house to house and school to school to educate them?
Mr. Rotimi : We can actually go from school to school. Do tv and radio jingles if we had a bigger platform and governmental support.
PreshGaza : At the TAG conference in Abuja, men/guys were encouraged to mentor young boys and young men around them.... e.g Someone said his nephew got home angry because a girl refused to play with him and he said "he'd keep trying tomorrow".. but the guy told his nephew the girl had already said no and he shouldn't disturb a girl who doesn't want to play... he then now sat him down and had the consent talk with him... I believe if we are all intentional about this, little by little these stories and cases will reduce. That's why I'm so grateful for friends like Mun, TAG is based in Abuja but he urged me to bring a conference down to KD and I'm super expectant. Thanks for the education Mr ROTIMI.
Mr Rotimi : Alright awesome, please message me so I remember to send you the link
Becky Gadzama : How many schools can we Cover?
Mr. Rotimi : It doesn't have to be schools. It can be in the church or mosque. It can be a kids club. As long as we reach out to them that's what matters. It can even be in our homes.
Jay Mun : But why do most rapist get away with it in Nigeria. They get arrested but released at the end of the day. Is our Justice system not equipped enough to persecute them ?
You even find defense lawyers for rapist.
Mr. Rotimi : This your question is very beautiful cos it covers everything I haven't mentioned. You see there's what we call "stature barred" cases in law. These are offences that have a time limitation, and if you report the offence after the time limitation you won't have a valid case. Unfortunately rape is one of such cases, it has a time limitation of 3 months if you report the rape after 3 months I'm sorry you won't have a valid case. Also there's what we call "Corroboration", this means supporting a testimony with evidence. To prove rape there must be Corroboration ie, there must be a witness or video recording or very substantive evidence to prove that the rape occurred. Unlike other offences where you can convict based on the testimony of one person, rape has to be corroborated that means there must be at least two witness which are the victim and at least one other person. Or there must be video evidence or very substantial evidence to prove the case. Now you see why it is hard to prove rape. Not because someone is rich or he knows people it is because of the law.
Jay Mün : What if a lady accuses someone of rape and a medical examination is carried out and signs of forceful penetration are found. Is it enough to convict a person
Mr. Rotimi : It is not enough. You must then prove that it is that accused person who forcefully penetrated, probably by sperm samples or dna( which is hard to come by in Nigeria). You see why rape is hard to prove.