SPECIAL MAIL-CULTURE CHANGE
Most of us have been following the recent events on social media, involving a Pastor and a member of his female congregation, the allegation of RAPE is being brandished around. Reading through various posts and comments, it literally breaks my heart to see the way people perceive a person’s right to speak out if he or she has been raped or manipulated emotionally into having sexual relations with someone she or he holds in high esteem. Am not taking sides with anyone, am just trying to highlight why children, grown women, and men (because Men get raped too), feel it’s in their best interest not to speak up about it.
A lot of the time, the victim is blamed.
A while back, I listened to a radio program in Lagos, where a young girl of 17 called into the program to say she had been raped several times by her sister’s 51 years old husband while living with them. More than 15 people called in to blame the girl. The worst was a woman who called and vehemently rained abuse on the girl, saying, in her own words “Useless girl, that’s how they wear skimpy clothes around the house, seducing one’s husband, then when he falls, they accuse him of rape, nonsense”.
I was mortified, how could they, no one blamed the man. He was supposed to be a father figure, a responsible adult, and married to her sister. But instead, choose to abuse his position of power and violate a little girl. That day I called in and said as much.
A lot of marriages today have issues with wives not liking sex because they have been abused as children and received no counselling, except, “Just keep quiet, and don’t disgrace the family”. These children grow up repressing the memory of the incident and it all comes out later in life. Once married, the husband feels the wife just doesn’t want to make love, the lady doesn’t understand why she doesn’t feel like making love, and sometimes the relationship breaks off. Oftentimes, partners find pleasure outside.
As for the Parents, most times they are unaware of what their children are doing. Several are being abused by trusted relations, help and even strangers. I have spoken to women, children( girls and boys) and men, who have been raped by Siblings, Fathers, family members staying with them, house helps and neighbours just to name a few. Some even find it difficult to hold down relationships once they have been defiled. A lady asked me why, once she makes love to a person once, she can no longer stand him. I asked if she had had any traumatic events in her life growing up, and she said yes, she was raped at 16. With God’s help and counselling, today she is happily married.
What we need is a culture change from blaming the victim instead of protecting the violator. A change from, The culture of believing that once you are old enough, no one can rape you, therefore it must have been consensual. A change from, The culture of, if a man is being accused of rape by a female, no matter the age, she must have been asking for it or seduced him. A change from The culture of, “He raped a child, oh dear, let’s not make too much noise, it will bring shame to the family” and so on. We need to change the culture NOW.
EDUCATION is the key. For a culture to change, we need education, and a change in our customs, values, attitudes, behaviour, lifestyle, and beliefs. A change in what we do and how we do it.
Educating children about being proud of who they are, teaching them to respect themselves and others, having self-worth, being content and having Godly values. With all this imbibed, I believe we can begin the long road to changing the culture for the next generation.
Let’s all contribute our quota to make this happen, remember change begins with You. What do You think? #CultureChange.
Love you all and God bless
She Heals 2019. www.shereallyheals.com. #Be Inspired podcast by She Heals.