In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 07th, June, 2020

Many R*pe Victims Undergo Psychological Issues, Have Suicidal Ideas

Many R*pe Victims Suffer Mental Disorders, Have Suicidal Thoughts

Kingsley Akhigbe

Kingsley Akhigbe

Professor Kingsley Akhigbe is a marketing consultant psychiatrist on the College of Benin Educating Hospital, Edo State. He talks to ALEXANDER OKERE in regards to the spate of rape in Nigeria and methods to assist the victims and their households overcome the affect

Rape has been given totally different definitions. What ought to Nigerians perceive about it in easy phrases?

Rape is a compelled sexual contact with somebody who doesn’t or can’t consent. It’s forcing intercourse on somebody who doesn’t need it, is intoxicated or not legally sufficiently old to present consent. For such, we depend as rape. It’s no matter gender, however after we speak about rape, the feminine gender is extra generally referred to.

Are there sure social, psychological or environmental components that might give rise to rape?

Some folks assume it’s a mentally in poor health particular person that can perform sexual assault. However analysis really reveals that the majority rapists wouldn’t have psychological dysfunction. In fact, there are individuals who might have extreme psychological sickness and commit rape or present irregular sexual behaviour, which can be associated or instantly linked to the lack of inhibition. Sufferers who’ve bipolar affective dysfunction might turn out to be sexually disinhibited, resulting in such offences. However by and giant, those that commit rape are literally mentally secure. In different phrases, they’re devoid of a diagnosable dysfunction.

There appears to be an upsurge in rape circumstances in Nigeria. What do you assume is liable for that?

It’s just like the world has turn out to be so disordered and plenty of expressions of disordered behaviours and abnormalities in the best way folks behave are all coming to the fore, maybe, on account of the final upsurge of the stresses of day by day residing. And our worth techniques have generally been disrupted. So, it’s like we’re in a Sodom – everyone is simply doing no matter they like and a variety of individuals could also be on medication. Now we have had cases of fathers raping their kids and older folks descending on youthful ladies. So, it (rape) cuts throughout all ages and never restricted to youths, who could also be underneath the affect of medicine and the likes.

On Could 27, 2020, a younger feminine pupil of the College of Benin was raped and killed in Edo State, and there have been reported circumstances of rape and homicide in Oyo and Niger states within the final two weeks. What impression do these offer you?

For the case in Benin Metropolis, the problem of raping the younger girl earlier than she was murdered raised questions in my thoughts as as to whether persons are so devoid of a conscience that they may go to that extent. I additionally questioned what may have saved her there (in a church) on their lonesome finding out at the moment; many issues don’t appear to tie up, I need to say.

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Many individuals surprise why criminals resort to raping their feminine victims. Can this be defined?

To begin with, there are a variety of beliefs folks have that counsel girls are intercourse objects, that the male sexual drive is uncontrollable and that ladies are bodily simpler to overcome. There are some myths that appear to have been entrenched amongst some folks. A few of them are that ladies ask for intercourse with the best way they costume and behave or that they may keep away from being raped in the event that they actually wish to. However none of those myths is factual. The issue can definitely not be the lady who’s raped as it’s with the rapist whose thoughts seems to endure cognitive distortion – errors in cognition that enables the offender to rationalise and minimise the perceptions and judgement which can be utilized by the intercourse offender, who appears to justify his personal behaviour. At that time, he might search to behave as if he has sufficient grounds for his motion, whereas, he doesn’t.

There was widespread condemnation by Nigerians on-line of the spate of rape circumstances in society, however some see this as a plethora of anger that will not be efficient in addressing the issue. What’s your tackle that?

I believe the response on the social media is now turning into a typical response to any outrageous occasion. Individuals appear to be thirsty for what was generally known as breaking information. The noise (on the social media) dies down after a while as soon as there’s something that seems to be extra outrageous than or as outrageous because the earlier one. If we hear tomorrow that some folks got here collectively and dedicated suicide by leaping into the (Lagos) Lagoon, folks will start to speak about suicide. So, I don’t see the trend depicted on the social media as being actually crucial. Nonetheless, it could communicate to the folks in authority and encourage the judiciary to take circumstances of rape or tried rape severely by meting out punishments to rapists.

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There have additionally been calls for fogeys to teach their male kids about embracing good ethical behaviour. Can that assist?

Actually, charity begins at house. Social research within the main and secondary faculties had been geared in direction of selling a conscience that feels for different folks. However these issues have been overtaken by the frenzy for a lot of issues. Within the spiritual sense, preaching lately is extra about make it, cash and materialism; it’s now not about being God-fearing and having respect for all times. The extent of violence depicted within the social media has hit laborious on the common younger particular person. It’s now not tough to see kids wanting or forwarding posts of individuals being slaughtered or molested. How do such kids start to have worth for all times?


Most definitely, it’s not just for boys but in addition for ladies. Ladies must be extra conscious that the common male isn’t to be entrusted with the totality of her security. There are circumstances of gang rape and date rape, following social media interactions. They (females) exit to fulfill guys at some joints and earlier than they know it, they find yourself in another locations and their drinks are contaminated, after which a gaggle of boys have a go at them.

Do you assume the punishments stipulated in our legal guidelines are sturdy sufficient to handle rape?

I believe if circumstances are adopted up in keeping with the regulation and if investigations are thorough and truthful, the rapists will get what they deserve in court docket. The weak implementation of our legal guidelines is decreasing the seriousness of rape as a felony offence. How lots of such circumstances of rape will we hear have attracted a few years of imprisonment for these convicts?

What are a number of the psychological well being results of rape on the victims?

The primary is post-traumatic stress dysfunction, which is a particularly debilitating dysfunction occurring after a extremely traumatic occasion. It was discovered that nearly one-third of all rape victims develop PSD at a while of their lifetime. They’re extra seemingly to endure anxiousness and different psychological health-related issues. Rape victims additionally find yourself with issues of substance abuse. The psychological well being issues additionally embody suicidal ideas and suicide. Many rape victims have ideas of guilt and terror and blame themselves for the assault. After such, survivors might really feel that their our bodies usually are not actually their personal. So, such damaging feelings linked to sexual abuse might predispose survivors to despair, anxiousness, post-traumatic problems, persona disruptions and the likes.

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How does rape have an effect on the survivor’s potential to begin a household?

Some survivors have fertility points. There’s a chance of sexual assault leading to being pregnant, and in circumstances the place a younger feminine will get pregnant; giving delivery could also be a difficulty. That downside might persist for a very long time.

Why do many rape victims discover it tough to report or discuss in regards to the incident?

For the males, the disgrace and embarrassment could also be significantly overwhelming. A male sufferer may even see himself as having been female or not being sturdy sufficient to beat back an assault. A few of such male victims might have been assaulted by individuals of the identical gender. However for the females, it’s apparent that the disgrace, embarrassment and the resultant discrimination that they could expertise make it tough for them to talk out. The typical woman desires to current herself as a virgin.

What affect does it have on the victims’ households?

The social affect is apparent. Their mother and father might really feel responsible, that there was one thing they may have accomplished to forestall it or that they weren’t protecting sufficient of their daughter or didn’t practice her correctly, even when it’s apparent that it was not the woman’s fault. The household bears the massive brunt of the stigma; it carries that damaging attraction everywhere.

How can households assist rape victims reintegrate themselves into society?

Social and household help could be very necessary for victims of sexual abuse. Typically, if there’s a want for counselling by psychological well being professionals, it could be very useful as a result of the sufferer’s shallowness might have been shattered by the assault. They don’t want condemnation.

What sort assist can they get?

They will get remedy with out judgment. Victims want empathy, not sympathy. Counsellors and therapists are educated to assist folks going through challenges of their lives. They may help people navigate conflicts, resolve inside struggles and handle psychological well being situations.


Supply: Sunday PUNCH

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