A Non-Governmental Organisation, Women Against Rape, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation, has raised the alarm over the rising incidence of rape cases in the country.
Addressing a news conference at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on Monday, the group said 80 per cent of 3,118 students interviewed in a study it conducted had experienced sexual violence and abuse.
WARSHE, made up of lecturers of OAU, said it was alarming that rape and other forms of sexual violence against the girls in the study were perpetrated in the homes of the victims.
WARSHE principal researchers, Dr. Olutoyin Mejiuni, and Prof Oluyemisi Obilade, said some men capitalised on the trust reposed in them to rape their victims.
Mejiuni said, “About 31 per cent of respondents who had experienced sexual violence and abuse had the experience before age 13, and 80 per cent before age 18. The assailants who attacked the respondents were their relatives, a few teachers and religious leaders; family friends, neighbours, male friends and boyfriends.
“Respondents suffered shame, fear, aches and pains, cuts and injuries especially to their vagina, bleeding, loss of virginity, pregnancy and ostracism as a result of sexual violence and abuse.”
She explained that girls from high school and tertiary institutions in Oyo and Osun states were interviewed through questionnaires distributed between January and May, 2012.
Mejiuni said the incidence of sexual abuse was more prevalent in urban areas than rural areas, adding that females’ mode of dressing was not an excuse for rape or sexual violence.
She noted that despite the wearing of wrappers by rural women, the incidence of rape was low among rural dwellers, adding that laws against rape and sexual abuse were not deterrent enough.