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RAPE: THE VICTIMS AND THEIR TRAUMA

Rape victim

By: BABALOLA Peter Opeyemi, June 2020

All over the world, there have been series of wickedness going on around various countries and continents, where several women of different backgrounds, race, age, etc. have been victims of pain, assault, emotional instability. Etymologically, the word ‘rape’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘Rapere’ which means to seize or take by force. Wikipedia defines Rape ‘as a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person.’ The action might be carried in various forms, it can be as a result of forceful coercion, physical force in terms of threats, blackmails and other callous ways of getting at their victims causing them harm, emotional breakdown, lifetime trauma. No country, race, sociolinguistics background is without a rape case, though concealed as most victims decides to keep their perpetrators in privacy, perhaps due to their securities and to avoid further trauma and pains it might cause them. In every rape case, there is always a victim and a perpetrator of the crime.

Women who dress in a certain way or behave strangely are often either blamed or presumed to encounter rape more; Rape may also be found when a person has ‘sex’ with someone deemed legally incapable of consenting due to mental illness, impairment, intoxication on alcoholic drinks or other intoxicating substance, young kids with less defense. Rape can be of different kind which varies from acquaintance rape, gang rape, incest. It is also of various degree as prescribed by various investigation departments.
In Nigeria, a country in the western region of Africa and The most populous country In the Continent have been known for recording many more cases of Rape and other Sexual assaults. This rape cases have been recorded amongst various personalities ranging from high-profile political officers, religious leaders, lecturers, family members, neighbors etc.

Rape have been categorized as a great crime against humanity, as it has thrown people into various pains, setbacks, emotional disturbances and trauma. The English Dictionary defines Trauma as ‘an event that causes great distress or an emotional wound leading to psychological injury.’

Notwithstanding, age or gender, the impact and aftermath of Rape goes far beyond the physical pain and injuries inflicted upon by the perpetrator to his victims. The pain and trauma of being raped is a difficult stage to the victim as it can be shattering marred with emotional breakdown, flashbacks, unpleasant memories, and lifetime hatred for the crime perpetrator. A person who have experienced rape at any point in time is bound to experience and undergo a high level of distress after the crime perpetuation; the trauma of being assaulted can leave one with fear, worry, the stigma to be a rape victim can cause embarrassment, shame.

According to a study from the United States of America, survivors of Rape and other sexual assault may develop symptoms of “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS).” The PTSD is a mental health disorder that may develop, surface after Rape. It can lead to several mental health conditions in the victims which may include;

  • Major Depression: A state of mind producing serious, long term lowering of enjoyment, it’s a period of unhappiness or low morale which lasts longer than several weeks and may include ideation of self-afflicted injury, it comes with constant thinking, stress etc.
  • Loss of Appetite and pleasure for activities around
  • Poor health in general
  • Mood swings from a happy person to an extremely angry person who will pick offense at any relative mistake
  • Sense of helplessness
  • Nervousness
  • Panic attack
  • Disrupted sexual feelings, hatred for the opposite gender
  • Fear: this may likely be subjected to various phobias when they are in varied environments, like being with the opposite gender, in the midst of friends, fear of interaction and communication with other people.
  • Violent fantasies and thought of revenge.
  • Suicide thoughts
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POSSIBLE PREVENTION TO RAPE AND OTHER SOCIAL VICES

There are several possible ways as gathered and scrutinized by various scholars that one can prevent ways especially for the females that happens to be more vulnerable and at more risks. This prevention tips may really matter a lot in other to prevent and its trauma.

  • Avoid Strangers and their suspicious and unwarranted gifts, lifts, tips etc.
  • Have a solid security and back up by moving with friends in other words, avoid walking alone especially during odd hours or at suspicious places.
  • Avoid carrying and keeping possessions of valuable things very carelessly in other not to attract robbers which likely leads to rape.
  • Staying out too late especially at nights can be very dangerous, so it’s better to avoid staying out too late.
  • Avoid shortcuts while moving alone or at wrong destinations.
  • Be aware of the people around you, surroundings and the total environment.
  • Its more advisable not to walk or jog at night wearing headphones in other to hear someone coming or walking up to you
  • Avoid being aggressive, insulting and rude to people. Be nice!
  • Mind the kind of atmosphere you stay around especially with the opposite sex e.g. cold weather, sex movies, drunkenness, naughty talks, unwarranted discussions, etc.
  • When in the midst of the opposite sex, there is a need to be highly sensitive with their behaviors.

TIPS FOR THE REHABILITATION OF RAPE

Rehabilitation of rape

After being sexually assaulted, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. It is just as important to get help for the emotional impact of sexual assault as it is to receive care for physical wounds. Even if they think they are coping well, survivors of sexual assault often experience self-blame, lowered self-esteem, panic attacks, eating disorders, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and problems with work and social interactions (Monica Purmalek; National center for health research, USA). Rape is inevitable, unexpected and the aftermath is the trauma and stigmatization that comes with it, the pain that comes with it can be very devastating and filled with anger, wrath, negative thoughts etc. there is always a need to be rehabilitated in other to prevent the evil thoughts that comes with its aftermath. There possible step that have been proven to help rehabilitate rape victims, these points are necessary actions that can be taken to help the victims grow and forget about the dangers and impact of rape on their lives. They include;

  • Attend Seminars, workshops and other programs that can help you forge ahead and raise hope for a better future.
  • If perpetrator still move around in the community, it’s advisable to protect victims from other subsequent attacks by reporting to any law enforcement agency like the Police and any other security organization or a Non-governmental organization with a responsibility of rehabilitating and helping Rape victims and other social vices.
  • Legal Justice: it is more advisable and secured, seeking for justice in a law court for the arraignment and prosecution of sex offenders, a good lawyer can help fight it out with all necessary evidences to get a good trial.
  • Rape can be filled with lots of trauma, so it’s better to make oneself very happy by engaging in activities that takes away the stress, anger when reminiscing on the past event of rape.
  • Spending quality time with trusted and responsible friends you can be rest assured with.
  • Educate yourself: while every survivor and each story is unique, it’s useful and very imperative to educate yourself on the impacts of sexual abuse. Books, magazines, articles, novels and literal stories are a great place to start with.
  • Survivors might get triggered, jumped, tense up when someone gets too close, even if it’s someone they love and trust. Certain words, actions, sounds, gestures or even smells can send them into high agitations; Rape victims are often hyper vigilant (Vanessa Marlin, 2019), therefore it is very necessary to watch ones utterances and actions especially when interacting with rape victims to avoid mood swings and temperamental anger.
  • Practice Self-care: victims are encouraged to show themselves love, build themselves up with their interactions, get much support as they can of which might include Psychotherapy, Sex therapy, interactions with other loved and trusted ones.
  • According to Vanessa Marlin (2019) in her article on “how to support a friend or loved one who has been sexually abused.” Keep listening. Don’t try to give advice or fix the problem. Just listen, Let them feel their feelings. It can be extremely difficult to see someone you love in pain, but they need space to express themselves. Don’t say things like, “Cheer up” or “Don’t cry.” Stay by their side as they work through their feelings.
  • Ask if your friend or loved one needs anything from you. They may not always have an answer, but it’s nice to make it clear that you want to be supportive and engaged in their pain.
  • Encourage victims to get Spiritual by being prayerful, watchful and vigilant.
  • It may seem difficult and controversial but Learn to forgive oneself as a victim and also get past the offender and move on.
  • Avoid Drugs, Alcohols and flee from engaging in other social vices like armed robbery, Kidnapping, Rape etc.
  • Honor the recovery of rape victims.
  • Be happy.
  • Engage in body awareness activities like Yoga, Tai chi, Body Massage, etc.
  • Pay attention to your body: your body and emotions gives you clues when you are starting to feel stressed and unsafe. These clues include feeling tensed, shortness of breath, dizziness and nausea.
  • Be extremely smart about Media consumption and what you see online.
READ ALSO  How to help a loved one recover from rape or sexual trauma

CONCLUSION

Rape survivors have to deal with a lot of silencing, from the legal system, families, institutional structures and often their own emotional trauma, guilt, and shame; so many of the best ways to help and support them are structured around facilitating their voices, and allowing them to be heard. Nothing more, nothing less. The Trauma is bad and terrible.

SayNoToRape

RapeIsEvil

READ ALSO: How to help a loved one recover from sexual abuse

REFERENCES

  1. Symptoms of PTSD after a Sexual Assault. Matthew Tull, September 28, 2019. https://www.verywellmind.com
  2. How do you recover from rape? Monica Purmalek, National Center for health research, www.center4research.org
  3. www.google.com/wikipedia
  4. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/PTSD-trauma/recovering-from-rape-and-sexual-trauma.htm
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Using boxers more than two days can cause fungal infection – Medical expert

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A medical expert, Dr Chinonso Egemba, popularly known as Aproko Doctor, has revealed why it’s important for men to change their boxers every two days.

According to Egemba, wearing boxers for more than two days can encourage breeding of harmful fungi, which may lead to jock itch and groin infection.

While speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Awka, Egemba expressed that unwashed or repeated use of the same boxers for days could irritate the skin.

According to him, the fungal infection which is common in athletes and people who sweat a lot or are overweight often affects the groin and inner thighs.

“Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a fungal infection that causes a red and itchy rash in warm and moist areas of the body.
“The rash often affects the groin and inner thighs and may be shaped like a ring.
“Jock itch gets its name because it’s common in athletes. It’s also common in people who sweat a lot or who are overweight.

“The pubic region is an area in the human body that is always dark, warm and moist due to sweating, when you repeat same boxer for days, you are making fungi to grow and multiply in the pubic area.

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“This could lead to Jock itch and Groin infection caused by a fungus known as ‘Tinea Cruris’ and usually develops in the skin around the groin, inner thighs and buttocks.
“This is most common in men and adolescent boys.
“The common symptoms include itching and burning, red, scaly, circular rashes and peeling of the skin. When this happens, see a doctor for proper treatment,” he said.

He further advised that boxers should be changed every day and the groin area should be well taken care of in order to prevent harmful bacteria which might find their ways into the body unnoticed

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