Connect with us

News

Blossom Ozurumba: Disrupting the African Narrative on Rape

Published

 on

You have probably seen several photos of rape victims online with a blackened strip of color spread over their eye region to prevent them from the post-rape stereotype that comes with our dangerous addiction to blaming rape victims. What exactly is the African Narrative on rape that seems to ignore the fact that only damaged individuals will willingly assault a fellow human being in a bid to gain sexual satisfaction?
Some might even argue that spousal rape is not rape but a man enjoying his rights even against the wishes and desires of his wife. Even in our nation, Nigeria, Section 282 of the Penal Code and section 357 of the Criminal Code exempts perpetrators of spousal rape from punishment. Under Nigerian Law in sections 357 of the Criminal Code and 282 of the Penal Code, a man can’t be charged with spousal rape.

Why do you think that I am boldly saying NO to rape? Simple! I am a rape victim!
Now, I have gotten your interest. This is my story.

I was in love. I was also fifteen. He was eighteen. Handsome, great charisma. etc. He swept me off my feet. In as much as I was in love cum infatuation, I still remained true to the thoughts of my mother on premarital sex. She had repeatedly told me that if a man touches me, I become pregnant instantly. I believed her. She also warned me that if  get pregnant she will lead the team that will cut off my two legs and feed my hands to the dogs.

I was in love and in my blindness, I trusted my crush absolutely. Little did I know that he was not to be trusted. Then on beautiful evening, he asked me with his beautiful voice to walk him to his room. I did! He locked the door, smartly slid the key into his pocket and looked at me in a manner never seen before. Was it desire? Moments later, I was saying NO! I asked, begged and screamed. There was no mercy! Then came the blood spurt! He stopped. He calmly apologized.

I was already shaken, beaten, debased and could only ask him to open the door. My love interest was no longer the beautiful boy I had known earlier. I just wanted to hurry home and wash away the shame.

It has been seventeen years. Now, you know, so do not expect me to justify rape for any reason. Am I ashamed to share this story? No. If anyone should be ashamed, it is that person that feels I should not share. If anyone should be ashamed, it is that person that wishes to pass judgement. That is my story. I have dealt with the pain and I have moved on. Rape is Rape! No justification can ever score for me.

In the past week, a popular Nigerian comedian posted a joke on Facebook that garnered so much criticism across social media platforms. The good news is that he apologized. The bad news is that prior to him deleting the sad joke and making the decision to apologize, over 5,000 individuals clicked the “like” button as captured on the screen shot that equally went viral. Could it be that these individuals are blessed with a robust sense of humor that is alien to mere mortals that found the joke distasteful? Could it just be the inevitable narrative about jokes that have cascaded the cause of time?

Why are rape victims readily labelled and held responsible for the act that everyone agree that they are the victims? Best of all, why do most rape victims refuse to come out and speak against the despicable act of violence unleashed upon them. I have severally heard such absurd stories that posits that if a rape victim reaches orgasm in the cause of this denigration that it can no longer be qualified as rape. Rape is not about wanting or love or passion, it is about control.

The social implication of rape and the unending justification of vile offenders outweigh the clinical implications. What will people say? This question erodes the victim of the right to stand up and speak against the offender. It is a sad reality and I dare say that the only way to disrupt this violent trend is to stand up, damn the consequence and lend your voice to speak up against evil.

In case you are wondering, I am married and one of the first things I told my husband while we were courting was the rape incidence. If he can accept it and see me as a victim rather than pass unsolicited judgement on me then you can embrace why I give no care to folks who think otherwise.

Ladies: NO is NO! If he says no, do not seduce him.

Guys: NO is NO! If she says no, do not overpower her.

__________________________________________________________________________
Ozurumba Blossom of the blcompère brand is an author, blogger and compère as simple as A. B. C. She passionately uses social media for social good. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @blcompere

43 Comments

  1. Nanciejul

    January 14, 2014 at 9:14 am

    You are a strong woman Blossom.

  2. Africhic

    January 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Sorry you had to go through that.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Thanks dear. It is all in the past now.

  3. Jescy Eagle

    January 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

    There is indeed no justification f0r rape!!! Rapists are equally animals and they do not deserve any form of respect or mercy….they are an excuse for human beings….

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      I tend to blame anyone that makes an attempt to justify Rapists more.

  4. Yvonne

    January 14, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Funny enough that’s the turn out of things in our society. Some of the guys will even offer u an alcoholic drink saying “just take a sip,just a lil” and then if u’re a non-alcoholic you’ll get tipsy then gbam!!! You’ll be the one on them sef and the way they’ll nack u without mercy…beg o,scream o..when blood spurts na sorry u go hear…mshewww,I’ve been there before(my bf sef). Trust no GUY!!

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Truly Sad. Not ALL guys though. There is always an exception to the rule.

  5. okija tins

    January 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

    nne nwelu obi…touching story and bold move on your part.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Daalu nwannem. Jehovah di ebube.

  6. Idak

    January 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    BN, why exactly are you stifling debate by censoring my comments?
    Is that the new direction these days?
    Every time I comment on this issue,my comments are binned.
    What exactly is my crime?
    Am I no longer welcome on these streets?

    • Jane Public

      January 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      maybe. inserts evil laughter. Hhahahahahaha

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      Awwh! Be nice…

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      Lol! This got posted now…

  7. Idak

    January 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

    This is a very hypocritical article from BN (not the writer).
    Why are you posting this blog and attempting to promote debate and discussion on this very vital issue yet you stifled debate and conversation by deleting that post (which shall not be named)? Not just deleting it but doing it very quietly without a word to your reading and contributing public?
    We had a very vibrant discussion going on in that page,yet you stifled and trample it with that arrogant air of ‘it is a feee blog, I am free to do as I choose as the owner of the space’.
    What is the guarantee that this one too will not have the plug pulled if we make reference to the other post in a way that the powers that be do not like?

    Blossom, in response to your post only idiots blame a woman for being a victim of rape. I only ask women to share the blame in situations where the warning signs were there and they let their emotions rule their heads. It is like getting into a car being driven by a drunk friend after partying. Drunk driving can never be defended.
    No means just that. No man (or woman) should be allowed to justify the violation of the other in refusing sex. The pure bliss of consensual sex should be enough to dissuade anyone from rape. How dare you enjoy the act without the consent and full participation of the other? It is a sign of an underlying mental condition. I don’t care how well dressed and eloquently spoken the rapist is.

  8. www.anemistyle.com

    January 14, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Gosh Moving story! Rapist should be treated like murderers because the effect rape on its victim is physical,emotional and psychological and it affects them for a very long time, SOMETHING IN YOU DIES. I heard about spousal rape even in the christian community which was very sad. RAPISTS should not be allowed to go scott free.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Spousal rape is the one that gets me all shades of angry…

  9. sigh

    January 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

    applause!!!!
    more ppl should speak out!

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Certainly! Speaking out breaks the silence.

  10. Que

    January 14, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Nicely written, I can feel ur justified anger…. but if I may, pls don’t be angry with d victims who won’t speak out….many deal very differently. Date rape is on d rise, along with other types, but permit me to dwell on this one a bit cos it happened to a gud friend just around xmas n I was hopin she’d want to report it or liaise with orgs like Project Alert n d Mirabel center @ Lasuth, but she wouldn’t have it…I had to realise whether or not I feel like I understand it, its still her experience n I can’t feel it like she does… just be open to sharing any helpful tips, and any assistance necesssary like offering a ride frm a date/or anywhere so pple r not stranded or just basically being available to help avert likely scenarios….. To babes n even men (though I don’t know how prevalent it is for d male folk) I can only leave you with one advice, ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure that 1 or 2 people know exactly where to find you….tell people where you’re going… make a habit of it so that if people cant find you they will immediately be suspicious, n get digging… I don’t know why I am hammering particularly on dis ‘date-like’ i.e house or hotel dates/friend’s home visit etc scenarios cos truth is many time you will go somewhere with someone you think you’re safe with, and their xtra intentions will be unknown to you….i’ve heard things like ‘…you can’t really have come without expecting this…’- truth is Yes I Can… So pls pple have a back up plan, If it comes up, just be aware of the situations you’re putting yourself in n prep… I’ve been known to have my older cuz in d car outside if I’m in a guy’s hse or sometimes whether or not I’ve driven myself there, i’ll take a fake call n allude to d fact that my brother/mother or friend is a stonethrow away (even in d same building sef on 1 occassion) n might be passing by to join me home…if the guy’s too uncomfortable with it, well he has a choice to let me go… even public places don’t guarantee your safety….I can’t hammer it enuf, go with YOUR own plan or dont go at all… the era of secret dating is far behind us…. help yourself.
    Till d system becomes more supportive, use ur existing support system to your advantage. It saves a whole lot of head n heart ache… To anyone dealing with this pain, if u’re not ready or willing to be a voice to be heard, you can still be a hand to carry others n help prevent further perpetration of this evil…. cheers.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you so much for your great thoughts. Wisdom is really profitable and desirable. Great great words… Thank you.

    • memebaby

      January 15, 2014 at 6:31 am

      you just got it mehn.. went on a date days ago my sis called when we were in his car and telling me to describe his car and asking too much questions.. one has to be very safe these days..go on dates to open areas, no sneaking about, someone should know who is taking you out.. especially single ladies make sure your close ones know where you are at all times

  11. whocares

    January 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Beautiful and powerful writing Blossom. NO means NO. I have screamed this before and I will probably keep screaming it till I am hoarse. My initial reaction to the joke was indifference, and I tried to get people to see the context it was said in, but then I read some people’s opinion about the joke and how it made them bold enough to say that people who try to play a fast one on guys deserve what they get… I changed my tune. I don’t care if a woman is a prostitute, or even if she is your wife, when you coerce a woman into having sex with you or your partner is not willing and you go ahead with you, you have raped them. I have seen too many documentaries of too many men boasting about the women they have forcefully had sex with and not considering it rape. That mentality needs to change. I have seen even sadder ones of women blaming themselves for the appalling crime done against them.
    The Nigerian policy on marital rape is a shame! The same principle applies to every woman, married or not. Your body is your body and if your husband has sex with you by force and against your will, that is rape too. Please, please speak out if you are going though it. No one deserves to be raped. I don’t care if a woman is walking around town in G-strings and bra only. Control yourself… No means NO! Ok, im done ranting.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      No definitely means No!!! I will not get tired of saying this. We should say it and mean it… No faking!

  12. Uzo

    January 14, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Touching story sis., i can really imagine the psychological effects before now..

  13. The Buttery Hotness.

    January 14, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I follow this woman on twitter. Never would have guessed she was a victim of rape…not like she should write it on her forehead or handle or bio, I’m just saying… she’s such a strong, positive, do-good tweeter and if it’s even possible, I have a lot more respect for her. Thank you, Blossom for sharing your story. You are a strong, beautiful and inspiring woman. Truly inspiring. Thank you.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks so much. It took a while for the healing process to perfect but it is for a great cause. What is your Twitter handle?

  14. Hephzibah Frances

    Frances Okoro

    January 14, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you for using ur experience as a background to speak against this, u r a strong person,but we shouldn’t experience it b4 we know that rape is one of the most cruel things that can happen to a woman,its terrible and jokes should never ever be made of it.
    I pray more people speak against this,myself inclusive and give rape victims a shoulder when its needed,they’ve been degraded and abused,they don’t need 2be judged like most peeps do,ie “why did u go to his house,y did you dress like that…”
    Wasn’t the dog naked on the street,why didn’t the man rape it???
    This is not to encourage indecent dressing,am just saying,under no circumstances should rape be excused..

    imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Great thought. Discipline is key as no justification is enough to excuse rape.

  15. Jo!

    January 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Hmmmmn, I wondered why she took the basket mouth thig so p, now I know.
    Glad to hear you moved beyond this blossom

  16. Cocobutter

    January 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Its so sad.i was almost a victim twice. This is what i love about my boyfriend when i say no he stops.he respect not just me but women.he knows i was almost a victim.he doesn’t condemn me. I love him. I pray for rape victims esp ladies,i feel your stigma,but know this,you’re beautiful inside,outside.yes i say so

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Lol! There is no stigma… That is the whole point of this post. Stigma is pointless. I celebrate your man.

  17. Iris

    January 14, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you for speaking out. Rape is trivialized too much in Nigeria. The above-mentioned comedian’s apology just seemed like a PR thing as far as I’m concerned because he was still defensive and saying we need to be able to laugh about everything. Methinks he needs to understand that you don’t have to support something directly to become an inadvertent enabler of it.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 14, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      That is the sad truth. Such dangerous trends give rise to the inevitable trivialising of issues of rape and VAW.

  18. Newbie

    January 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Another common misconception is that if there was no violence or physical resistance involved, then it’s not rape. Essentially meaning that if you just lie there and let him do it – even after clearly saying no, it’s not rape. That’s a lie. NO means NO – in any language, including sign language.

  19. Nnodim Blossom

    January 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you very much Nancy.

  20. Beekay

    January 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I wish a lot more Nigerians can share their stories like you just did and the majority of us can stand up for the truth. We have so glorified evil in this country that it’s taking over good. There is no justification for taking forcefully what someone is not willing to give you freely.

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Thank you Beekay. One voice at a time and we can all drive change.

  21. Love me Love me

    January 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Rape is rape and still a crime. NOTHING can justify it and all rapist need to be persecuted.
    You are brave. I have been through it and can personally say, that it can be quite destructive and will destroy you if you allow it. I outed the bagger but I am not sure he is still not going around committing the crime. My mistake was washing off all the evidence before telling people and not taking him to the authoritarian. I promise myself it won’t happen again because the results will not be good for all

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 23, 2014 at 9:31 am

      You are so right. Thanks so much.

  22. larz

    January 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Ladies: NO is NO! If he says no, do not seduce him.

    Guys: NO is NO! If she says no, do not overpower her.

    Thanks for this. I think sometimes, we forget how overpowering women can be when they too ignore NO. It might be a softer mthd but ultimately it is forcing ppl to do our own will

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 23, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Yes Larz, women also need to heed the NO call.

  23. Kayla

    January 19, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Lovely piece Blossom. Would do well to share it on my Blog. I have stood strongly against rape and wud continue to. pls visit: kaylachanai.blogspot.com
    I follow you on twitter and my handle is @chanaikayla

    • Nnodim Blossom

      January 23, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Certainly, Kayla. Feel free to share. Thank you so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features

Advertisement
css.php