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From UNICAL to UNILAG…Reported Rape & Sexual Assault Cases on Nigerian Campuses Increasing – NFF

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dreamstime_s_29039785Our young women are at risk and the Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) wants you to know about it and do something to help!

While the increase is alarming, it is obvious that many of these young vulnerable women and now brave enough to report cases.

Below is the official press release from the NFF

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The NFF is dismayed and alarmed by what appears to be an overwhelming rise in reported cases of sexual assault and rape of female university students by male members of the academic staff and students across university campuses in Nigeria and calls for attention to the need to take action to stem this trend urgently.

In the past few months, there have been several notable reports of incidents of rape of and sexual violence on female students by members of the academic staff in several universities. For instance in the last week of August 2015, Professor Cyril Ndifon, Dean of the Faculty of Law University of Calabar is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 20 year old, 400 level law student from the same university. On or about July 23 2015 Dr. Akin Baruwa, a lecturer with the University of Lagos, allegedly raped an 18 year old female admission seeker.

It is pertinent to state here that the vast majority of cases of sexual violence against female university students in Nigeria go unreported for various reasons associated with victim shaming, stigma, character assassination, public backlash and limited access to justice for victims. In many cases, female students who have reported such cases have been subsequently targeted for reprisal attacks by thugs, cultists or university teachers.

The mass abuse of female university students in Nigeria is fueled by the lack of a consistent and clear policy by university governing bodies and school authorities concerning sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape of female students. Student handbooks and codes of conduct for staff and students are generally ‘silent’ on this and do not adequately address issues of violence against women. Sexual assaults are hardly mentioned during orientation for first year students neither are there any dedicated channels of redress or support for students who experience this form of violence whilst on campus.

It is not enough for university authorities to continue to disassociate themselves, single out, disown or suspend individual perpetuators of such grievous crime of gender based violence and abuse of public office and trust without providing any sort of support and care for the victims and their families.

Rape is a crime under the criminal and penal code in Nigeria. Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape is a clear violation of Article 3 (4) of the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003), Article 2 (d) of The Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 1979 and Section 24 of the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2014. Sexual abuse of female students directly impedes on the progresses made in advancing Girl-Child education, in fulfillment of the MDGs and newly adopted SDGs, as well at the objectives sited on the AU Agenda 2063 regarding Girl-child education.

The Nigerian Feminist Forum hereby calls on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to;

(a) Adopt and enforce a comprehensive sexual harassment policy for its members;
(b) Penalize by delisting any of its members convicted of an act of sexual offense;
(c) Sensitize its members on the debilitating effect of sexual harassment of female students.

The governing bodies of tertiary schools should immediately;
(a) Adopt policies and measures to address the issue of sexual violation of female university students by fellow students and members of staff;
(b) Operationalize a comprehensive policy on eradicating sexual harassment on campus;
(c) Put in place a victim’s response mechanism for reporting, investigating and prosecution of perpetuators of sexual violence against female students;
(d) Conduct a mass sensitization on sexual violence across all campuses in Nigeria.

Members of the CSOs and Media continue to;
(a) Support victims to report cases of sexual harassment and abuse;
(b) Ensure the full prosecution of perpetuators of sexual crimes against women;
(c) Ensure that the ongoing cases of 2 university lectures before the law courts are not swept under the carpet;
(d) Victims of sexual abuse are given the right support and care and;
(e) Issues of sexual abuse are kept in the front burner of national news.

The NFF is ready to offer its support and expertise to the ASUU, body of Vice-Chancellors, the National Universities Commission (NUC) ministries of education and other policy makers at federal and state levels as well as the police and law enforcement agencies, in developing appropriate skills, standards, protocols and processes to urgently respond to this growing epidemic of sexual violence in educational institutions in Nigeria.

Photo Credit: © Michaeljung | Dreamstime.com

18 Comments

  1. NFF

    September 14, 2015 at 10:11 am

    NFF, nice work and thanks for standing up for these victims

    However, you failed to also address the university girls as well on moral and decent dressing.

    Maybe you should have also added in your note to the schools to enforce a dressing code- No opening of boobs, yansh, no shorts and minis, no crop-top and what have you.

    Would be so irresponsible and deceitful of you to think the university girls can keep wearing irresponsible clothes and there is a decline in these crime.

    There is a connection between the crime and indecent dressing

    • Ekene

      September 14, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Most stupid response on rape issuew response I have read in a long time

    • Ba

      September 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Go & do your investigation well. Ladies in that class aren’t always the victim of rape.

    • charles

      September 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

      No sir! “irresponsible dressing” has nothing to do with anything. Young innocent girls barely in their teens are violated as well. Rape cases in Saudi arabia, India & some of the more reserved countries (dress wise) is one of the highest in the world.
      Many of us male folks, schooled in these same campuses where girls are said to dress “indecently”, but we never had any cause to do harm to the female folks. The world has moved on and we all have to adjust to the changing climes.
      The act of raping and violating young girls & women is a senseless act by deranged lunatics, is highly condemned & relevant government agencies should do their jobs.

    • Natu

      September 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

      @ NFF you are part of the problem!!! I can’t believe you are blaming and slut shaming the victims. You seriously do not understand rape culture. It is a power thing. What do you say to men that rape babies, children and boys. How were the victim dressed? Was the baby dressed to provocatively? Do me a favour and read. I can’t stand ignorant people!!!

    • Tari

      September 14, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Your stupidity is on fleek!!

    • Iris

      September 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

      *hiss* And here they come right on cue, climbing out of the woodwork like maggots from a diseased tree. Go and tell small children that get raped to stop dressing indecently. GTFOH.

    • Nahum

      September 14, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      You are an idiot. In this day and age, babies are getting raped and you are still thinking that a woman’s dressing leads to rape. You better wake up.

    • Ann

      September 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      If there is really a link between indecent dressing and rape explain why the highest rape rates occur in the middle east where women wear the burka?

    • Ada Nnewi

      September 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      You’re an Idiot…So the fact that your neck, knees or arms are exposed is enough reason for someone to rape you abii…Even if a female walks naked, she does not deserve rape….The only way rape will drastically reduce is if rapists get the death penalty and face serious publicized torture first which involves breaking every bone in their body on national TV…Pedophiles should be tortured gorily, sexually assaulted with brutal tools then drowned in sulphuric acid…If all these are allowed to happen, even if a strange women starts pole dancing naked in the middle of Awolowo road at 2am, no male will touch her.

    • The Bull

      September 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Stop making excuses for rapists. Do the children, men, grandmother’s and we’ll covered women not get raped to? What is your excuse for that? Any man that loses self control because he sees some skin is a lunatic.

    • Think!

      September 17, 2015 at 6:04 am

      Stop Victim blaming! Sexual Assault can never be justified.

  2. Ba

    September 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I thought it was the football body. Well in-depth press release. No to rape in any form of organization or society. Also, Buhari should be say something. He should stylishly condemning such barbaric acts in some of outings or speech. The lady that die due to your poor energy supply is still fresh. No condemnation. Words like a leader goes a long way in strengthening stakeholders involve and an affirmation for due service to your citizen.

  3. Tari

    September 14, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Please let no sane person talk about “irresponsible dressing”.
    As much as there is a lot of indecent exposures and women (and men too) will be addressed as they portray themselves, nothing justifies violation and rape.
    Especially not in these days where prostitution is very common.

  4. nnenne

    September 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    While at it, please address the issue of professors offering grades to students for sexual gratification and threatening to fail them if they don’t sleep with them.
    Happened to my cousin. Her parents were about to wire her to set the stupid professor up. Luckily, for him, his friends warned him about, who not to mess up with.
    How about other innocent girls, who don’t have anyone to speak for them???????????

  5. maryjane

    September 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    This NFF is stupid and all those who liked his/her comment are stupid. Indecent dressing shouldn’t be reason for sexual harassment or rape.

  6. See

    September 14, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Read up on how rape works, how it is hinged on the power dynamics of patriarchy, and you will speak better on this issue.
    There is absolutely now connection between rape and dressing. And by saying that there is, you imply that men are rabid dogs without self-control. Frankly, I think this reasoning should be insulting to even those you seem to be defending. Does a guy see his mother come out of the bathroom in a towel and jump on her? If you saw a naked girl, but who was holding a primed gun, would you attempt to rape her?
    So you see there is self-control. The matter is getting men to use it. Nor be everything you see you suppose chop. And don’t get me started on those who rape minors and babies.

  7. Ogbuehi Don Ndubuka

    November 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Though no reason can justify violation of the female rights even as l recommend death penalty for rapists and incests, the code of dressing being implemented in some tertiary Institutions must be encouraged in all the universities and higher schools nationwide. NUC must ensure that handbook on conduct for teachers and student should be implemented in all colleges with out delay. We must protect the women folk from these rapists/lunatics and see same as a task for us all the ladies themselves inclusive.

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