Sex conference shocking revelation
It was an online conference on “The menace of sexual violence and youth delinquency..”. But the volume of information and revelation at the two-hour conference was shocking.
The conference was organized by The Coaching Network. The resource persons include Dr Mrs Moyosore Makinde, Consultant Family & Lifestyle Medicine Physician. Blessing Titiloye, a youth activist and educationist and Professor Adegboyega Aduradola a Professor of Silviculture at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and also a pastor. The trio made the conference which was coordinated by Barrister Risi Sanusi Olusanya, a unique experience for participants.
Patients turned rapists
One after the other they came up with statistics and information that left many wondering at the rate of sexual assault in the society. One of such striking information came from Dr Makinde who narrated how sexual predators came to the hospital where she worked several years ago on the pretext of coming for medical examination.
She was on duty that particular day along with a few other female nurses. It was not long that the supposed patients came that they brought out guns to scare everybody and eventually raped one of the staff in the hospital. Fortunately for her, she was heavily pregnant at that time so they could not do anything to her. Fear did not allow anyone of them to put up a resistance. She said some drugs had to be administered on the victim to forestall possible pregnancy.
Raped at a diagnostic centre
She also revealed how one of her patients was raped in a diagnostic centre where she went to do an ultrasound scan. According to Makinde, many of those who carry out sexual assaults on vulnerable people sometimes do it for self-assertion and to show their capacity. “Men rape women, women also rape men. Sometimes some of these sexual assaults leave the victims injured.” She said.
In the course of her delivery, she noted that sexual assaults is a social and public health problem adding that the earlier this is combatted the better for the country. She disclosed that one out of every three women experience sexual assault in their lifetime while one in every four men have a similar experience.
She states further that “nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced complete or attempted rape while 1 in 14 men was made to penetrate someone (complete or attempted) during his lifetime. 1 in 3 female rape victims experienced it for the first time between 11-17 years old and 1 in 8 reported that it occurred before age 10. Nearly 1 in 4 male rape victims experienced it for the first time between 11-17 years old and about 1 in 4 reported that it occurred before age 10.”
Quoting the executive director of UNICEF, she said over 1 billion children globally are reported to have been victims of physical, sexual and psychological assault. The lockdown according to her has not helped matters as “many victims of sexual assaults are lockdown with their aggressors.” She disclosed that Nigeria has the highest number of sexual assault in Africa.
Death from abortion
Blessing Titiloye also brought some practical experience to bear on the conference. She recalled the story of how her classmate in secondary school died while trying to abort pregnancy saying the experience made her begin to advocate for sexual purity right from the age of 12.
Since that experience, she has seen a lot declaring that God enabled her to keep herself till she married at 34. “I am a testimony that it is possible to remain a virgin till marriage. I was a virgin before I met my husband and I never kissed him not to talk of having sex before we married. I try to encourage young girls that they can keep themselves pure.”
She, however, noted that the media has made sex commonplace leading to the prevalence of the rape culture. Apart from media glamorizing sex, Titiloye says, “Peer pressure, Cultism, Alcohol and Drugs, Sexual addiction are the reason why sexual assault on vulnerable people have become prevalent. In some situations, men consider gang rape as a legitimate means of punishing women with “immoral” behaviour and indecent dressing. This should be discouraged.”
Sexual assault: A grievous sin
Earlier at the forum, Prof Aduradola who addressed the issue from the Biblical standpoint said “sexual assault is a grievous sin and abomination to God because it involves the body, soul and spirit and a negative covenant is caught in every illicit sexual relationship including rape.
“It causes physical and emotional trauma of the victims. It triggers the spirit of murder because immorality and spirit of murder go together. For examples; Tamar was violated and raped by her stepbrother Amnon, Eventually, Absalom killed Amnon. David violated Bathseba and killed her husband, Uriah to cover up. Herod sexually violated his brother’s wife and killed John. Shechem defiled Dinah in Genesis 34:2 was murdered in revenge by the brothers of Dinah.”
Need for a regular seminar on sex
On the way forward, the three resource persons agree that there is a need for the Church to hold regular seminars on sex. They also posit that the church should be mindful of some generational gap between the young people and the adults.
Professor Adurodola counsels that “the church must rise up to the challenge of sexual violence by encouraging early sex education both at the family and congregational levels. The approaches must be mindful of the peculiarities of this younger generation that belong to the digital age. Above all, the church must intensify prayers to stop the menace of sexual violence.”
For Dr Makinde sexual violence is never the victims’ fault adding however that “the society must put in place social norms that prevent sexual violence, teach skills to prevent sexual violence, provide the opportunity to support girls and women since they are more vulnerable. There must also be support for victims to lessen the impact of them.”
Titiloye in her submission believes one of the ways to stem the tide is to have coordinated intentional teaching on the pulpits against sexual violence. She decried the kind of messages being preached on most pulpits saying people are not being properly taught in the church thus making them prone to crime.
She also suggested the need for churches to have a forum and mentorship programme where young people can share experiences and be given direction. And where they can be inspired to do the right thing.
The Convener of the conference, Dr Oyewole Sarumi expressed great delight at its outcome. He expressed hope that the conference will go a long way to create the needed awareness in the church.