A book written by Dolapo Oyedipe and titled, She tells it all, was unveiled in Lagos on Sunday to raise awareness of rape, sexual harassment and the need for early sex education of children, as well as to call for the reorientation of the society.
In her address, the author said that rape was on the rise in the country because the perpetrators were allowed to go unpunished by families of the victims.
Oyedipe, who is the Chief Operating Officer of the ABC Foundation, said, “Sexual assault is featured in everyday news. Do we sit and let this continue? This book is a divine call to remind people that rape and sexual assault are criminal offences. So, we should raise awareness about it and educate children against it. Hence, this book serves to educate adults and children.
“It is never too early. Even at the age of five, I was educated about sex and it saved me from being raped twice. Children remember what their parents tell them so we need to keep educating them about sex and identifying when danger is around the corner. The book is also a reminder to victims of rape that it is not the end of the world. There is solace in breaking the silence. Our past should not define us.”
Also, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Femi Odumabo, said the book highlighted the need for parents to be serious about educating their children on sex.
Stressing that the book also provided tips to guide parents in that regard, Odumabo said, “Sexual harassment is more common than we like to believe and sadly, it is often blamed on the victim. As result, the author addresses the need to unlearn stereotypes in the book. We need to be serious about educating our children on the subject because the culture of leaving them to find out things for themselves is no longer viable.
“There are also stories of women who spoke about their experiences in this book. The author stepped out of her comfort zone to alleviate the suffering of survivors, as the book contributes to the ongoing discourse on sexual assault and rape. It is recommended for anyone who desires to learn about sex education for children and to change the way that adults conduct themselves in society.
“It is a step towards raising awareness of the laws that guide against rape in the country. I oblige everyone to partake in the discourse and become advocates against this menace. Encourage survivors to tell their stories and do something about the predators to serve as a deterrent to others.”
The event also featured a panel of discussants, comprising Mrs Folusho Olaniyan, Mrs Olamide Abudu, Mrs Charity Babatunde, Ms Ini Itamale and Mr Wale Ojo, who agreed that taking a sensual picture without a person’s consent and publishing it online, striping a person naked with the eyes, talking about the opposite sex in a dishonourable manner and cheating on one’s spouse, among others, were other forms of rape.
The discussants traced the high incidence of rape in the country to the general assumption that men were superior to women and called for the proper orientation of the male child.
They recommended that boys should be taught not to have a sense of entitlement and advised parents to stop shying away from sex education, which they said was a continuous process.
The panelists also said there was a need to make some laws very strict so as to prevent rape and not just punish offenders lightly after the crime has been committed.
“Fathers should be involved in sex education. If boys and girls are properly trained, when peer pressure comes, they can withstand it. Keep telling them what is wrong and right. Fathers should know that it is their place to tell their daughters the way men think so that they can spot danger from a mile away and escape rape.
Men should mind how they treat their wives because their daughters are watching and would assume that that is how they should be treated by men. Boys should be taught to be gentlemen in the true sense of the word.
“Mother should stop over protecting their sons so that they do not grow up thinking that they can take women by force. Victims of rape need to know that it is not it is not their fault, it doesn’t matter what they were doing, wearing or located. “
Anyone that has been raped, male or female, should speak up so predators can be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others. Nobody’s reputation is as valuable as a child’s safety,” they said.